A Tot of Rum or Two

Written for my dad on the occasion of his 90th birthday when I couldn’t attend the celebrations.



When it comes to having birthdays,

Our dad’s had more than most

They’re almost a tradition,

Bit like the Sunday roast

He seems to cope with passing time

It’s wondrous to see

And High Street pavements

only meet his face occasionally

But that’s to be expected

for a fellow of his age

You don’t survive two wars, five kids

by living in a cage

So if he trips and stumbles

whilst yomping for the fray

Politely brush the litter off

and send him on his way

He met our mum, Cecelia

Cissie, to those who knew her

They were married over 40 years

And many good memories linger

There were good times, and some bad times

Marriage tends to be that way

But who of us has no regrets

Or things they’d wish to change

I looked up words to ‘explain’ our dad

and came up with a few

Beau Brummel seemed appropriate

from  staring at the view

But when it came to decision time,

wishing driving events ‘adieu’

I thought deeply and decisively

and settled on Mr Magoo

But some things have no matter

They’re not who you are

It’s the life you’ve led that defines you

That make you a shining star

You’re not a hallowed Surgeon.

Politician or Oil Magnate

But who at 90 can honestly say

They’re still a Chick Magnet  (sorry)

I’ll just say Hi to Brenda

She is the lucky one

In a long line of hopeful ladies

Who queued up to share the fun

She’s gracious and she’s caring

Which can only be a plus

And Brenda makes you happy

So that’s good enough for us

I’m sorry I can’t be there

to share this special time

Please forgive my poor attempt

To make this poem rhyme

So Dad, enjoy your birthday

Enjoy your family too

And raise a glass to all of us

A tot of rum or two

RIP DAD 1921 – 2018 

Card Making Class This Week

My first card class since November last year.  It was good to take a break and refresh a little.

As usual the ladies made three cards.  All quite different, and some more challenging than others.

Cards for May class

Although I haven’t been running classes of late, needless to say I have been buying supplies and stamps etc. The collecting is part of the joy of crafting I think.  I purchased this little stamp set from Art Impressions after seeing a Youtube video.  Here is my version.

Lighthouse tri circle card


Art Impressions – Circlet Mini Tryfold Lighthouse

This was the most challenging of the three cards we made.  The dear little scene is made up of three separate circle stamps. Also included in the set are two metal die pieces.  The card has three folds and one image is stamped on each piece.



Tryfold 1   Front (r) and Second Stamped image (l)

Tryfold 2  Third Stamped image (centre)

The tricky part is lining the stamps up so that they all align when the card is closed and viewed from the front.  We used a pencil to lightly trace the die cut images and allow us to line up the next stamp.  Instructions do come with the stamp set.

I really like the look of craft and white together.  My images were stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and then I highlighted the stamped images with a Sharpie White Paint Pen.  Edges of the card were sponged in brown ink and I also added a circle frame to the front.

Art Impressions have three little scenes in this series so far.



Thoughts from Maya Angelou

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on; and it will be better tomorrow.

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: A rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled tree lights.

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’ve gone from your life.

I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catchers mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.

I’ve leaned that whenever I decide to do something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”



It’s 40 degrees in Melbourne today

I’m so pleased I bought this “cool mat” for Fluffystuff.

RSPCA Cool MatI can’t help thinking of my animals friends in Canada at the moment who are suffering temperatures of minus 40 degrees.  I don’t really know what is worse, although I think I would rather be too warm than too cold.


Stay cool.


Again! From the Bottom!

Reblogging because I found this a really interesting, well written account of a black man’s life in America, and why he needs to write and blog.

El Paso P.O.V.

Not too long ago, I suddenly stopped blogging (save your applause I’m not finished) after having hit another bottom in my life. A life still in recovery from the devastating effects of past legal troubles and a sudden but reluctant return to the ranks of El Paso’s unemployed which is code for getting pink-slipped, canned, axed, getting the boot.

I called it a permanent vacation but not in the suicidal sense because I have too much to live for–mainly for paying off my IRS and student loan debt. Making my odds as a black man still trying to find a place (preferably a lucrative one) in this southwest border town–an American city dominated by Mexican culture and delicious Mexican food that I’m pretty sure is solely responsible for El Paso’s obesity problem–seem far-fetched.

Besides, I don’t know what made me think my blog posts would go viral. My posts were…

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Christmas Baubles

I save cards that are sent to me by friends and family. I decided to make baubles out of some of them instead of leaving them sitting in my cupboard. I then return the bauble to the person who sent me the card – I figure they only buy or make what they like themselves, so I’m pretty sure they will like the baubles too. Last years baubles were well received. I love to recycle and re-purpose things.

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Hope you like them and are inspired to give them a try yourself.  I buy the bauble blanks which come in two halves with a hanging hook from an ebay store, you can click the link here  to see which sizes are on offer.  I buy the 10cm ones.

Happy Crafting Everyone.