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 been a turbulent few weeks

And though I’ve been reading and commenting on blogs, I realise I haven’t written one for a while.

Melbourne has been experiencing some fairly heavy rain in the past week or so (thankfully it seems to have eased now).  We have sustained some damage, related to, but not caused by rain.  Our carport roof is fitted with plasterboard like a normal indoor ceiling – (I’m not sure this is good building practice but that’s the way it is round here). Last Friday, half of the carport roof collapsed (mid rainstorm), onto our cars, damaging the bonnets of both and leaving a large gaping hole in the carport (it would now make a perfect pigeon loft).

carport roof collapsed

Damage to both cars is fairly minimal in that they are both drivable, but they are no longer pristine as they were.  Insurance claims have been filed with us being told we won’t be covered for the damage to the carport roof as it is general wear and tear! There was no water in the roof.

roof on cars

So that is one thing, and the aftermath of having cars repaired and getting quotes for repairs to carport are underway.

Hospital visits and an unsuspected surgery for my better half have taken up the rest of the weeks events.  I am pleased to say that he is feeling a lot more chipper and results are good.

I love that line in the John Lennon song, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans” or words to that effect.  Never a truer word was spoken.

There has been no decorating for Christmas or Christmas Shopping apart from online stuff.  Thankfully Christmas cards have been made and sent.  Hopefully, we will now be able to get back on the horse and begin ‘tentatively’ planning our way through the Christmas season.

Dinner out this evening with friends is a good start.

Bless this Day.



Those Crazy Birds – in a Grid

Hi, quick post today.  A card I made for my younger brother who is sick in hospital at the moment.

Get well soon Buddy.

Crazy Bird Grid Card

Gotta love those Crazy Birds.

Happy Crafting Everyone.

Products Used

  • Tim Holtz – Bird Crazy Stamp Set and Dies
  • Ranger Distress Oxides
  • Ranger Distress Markers
  • Sharpie White Paint Pen
  • Grid Die from My Favourite Things
  • Neenah White Cardstock
  • Stampin’ UP! Black Cardstock
  • Como Sketch Pad Card base



It’s my Brother’s Birthday

And It’s a special one, so I had to make something a little special.  This card is 5″ x 7″.

Len's Card

I thought I would share with you my method for making the background.

The card itself is made from a piece of drawing paper which I trimmed to 10″ x 7″ and scored at 5″.  I wasn’t sure what medium I would be using when I started so it seemed like a good idea to use something that gave me a few options.  I didn’t end up using any watercolour but I do like the heft of the card and the slight textured finish. This is the sketch pad I used.sketchbook

Step 1. I started by masking off the rectangular area with 1″ low tack painters tape.   I left a larger border at the bottom of the card so that I could stamp the greeting.



Step 2. Collage Stamping – Using one of my favourite Stampin’ UP! stamps, Off the Grid” (ret). which I stamped twice. I turned the stamp so that I didn’t get two identical images next to each other.

Off the Grid added

Step 3. Adding more stamped images using Tim Holtz Collection “Shabby French” I used the three script stamps and placed them randomly around the card.

Adding more collage stamps   Tim Holts Collage set

Step 4. I selected a few mini Distress Ink pads also from Tim Holtz and the small Ranger round ink blending tool for this step. Ink colours used are Antique linen, Wild Honey and Spiced Marmalade.  I was not looking for a well blended finish at this stage because the final colour Vintage Photo would finish off the edges perfectly.



Step 5.  Versamark and Embossing:  On my brothers card I used copper embossing and copper foil paper for the numbers.  For this card which has a brighter background, I decided to use gold embossing powder. The stamp is from Stampin’ UP! and is called Flowering Flourishes.

Final image

I think you can make out the gold embossed image sitting on the top here. Trust me it does have some shine, but I am on the look out for some really nice gold embossing powder.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I added some black rhinestones and a greeting on my brothers card, which you can see in the top image.


I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and give this technique a try yourself.


Happy Crafting everyone and don’t forget it is World Card Making Day on October the 7th.  Make cards with your friends, or just head into your own crafting space and make a card for someone.  Barbara






So very sad to say

Black Cat last day


Beautiful Black Cat Girl

Couple of weeks ago, I detected a lump on the side of her face. A visit to the Vet confirmed that this wasn’t normal and a needle aspiration was taken and sent to the lab. At the weekend I learned that Black Cat had a very aggressive form of cancer with a long name that I can’t pronounce or even remember.  We spent the weekend knowing that this would be our last with our lovely girl and so we made the most of it before our appointment on Monday.

She left us peacefully having enjoyed a wonderful 16 years with us.  Here are a few photo’s from our final weekend.


I can’t even begin to tell you how difficult it was knowing the weekend was our last, and I miss her so much. Her sister seems to be coping ok.  In the end, with the prognosis we were given I know it was the right decision, but that didn’t make it any easier.





Easter gifts – Juggling Chooks

So my plan this year is to become more comfortable with my new sewing machine,  I really haven’t come to grips with it at all since I bought it last year to replace my tired Janome.  I went for a limited edition Bernina – and while it looks really pretty I have barely used it.

So when I saw these fun Juggling Chooks I decided they were the perfect project to get me going. Lots of repetition and no need to change the cotton!

Easter Chooks Blue 1 (1)

I have three grandsons, so I had to make 9 of these little pillows. Each one is an individual as you can see (no two are alike).


And finally all nine juggling chooks.  I think to save arguments the boys will get one of each colour.

All the chooks

To make your own juggling chooks, I have added the link below.  I found all the bits for my chooks in my craftroom and kitchen.  I filled the chooks with a little piece of polyester stuffing and then added about quarter of a cup of rice (brown of course).   They require only a piece of cotton fabric and some felt for the beak, comb and wattle.

You’ll have a lot of fun making these. Even my husband has been practising his juggling to no avail), and I’m not much better myself.  I hope the boys enjoy them.

a great little craft project from – Red Ted Art –

Have a great day


Christmas Decorations – Looking Festive



This small nativity scene wrapped in lights. One of my favourite decorations.

I made these “hangabouts” about 15 years ago (maybe more).  They were so popular with my friends and family that I ended up making around 50 of them as gifts.  They still make me smile every time I see them.


One of the benefits of Christmas in Australia – Roses from the garden – and they smell divine.

Two.’fake’ Christmas trees which I couldn’t get a nice photo of, so these are just a small part of each tree. I wound lights around the trees first then added, glass ornaments and strings of pearls.  One is around 4′ tall and the other around 3′.

Random vignettes, top left is in the entrance hall – all have lights – either battery or powered – it takes a while to turn them all off at night.  All of the lanterns have tea lights inside.



This beaded heart, which I have hung around a lamp was given to me by my sister Celia, who is no longer with us. She loved Christmas and decorated her house from top to bottom, she had the best collection of Christmas ornaments and her house always looked wonderful.  This heart can be found in various places around my home throughout the year and is always part of my Christmas display.


I hope you enjoyed a tour of my Christmas Displays for 2016.  It is still not quite finished but I’m loving setting up.  Friends coming for BBQ tomorrow will be the first of our Christmas festivities.


Another gift from my sister, this angel stays around the house all year long.

How are your Christmas displays coming along? I would love to see some of your ideas.

Cheers for now, Barbara