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.”



Question: Do pets grieve?

I googled this question during the weekend and there were no really conclusive answers, though many people, vets and animal psychologists had their opinions.

So let me add my own personal answer to the question.

This is Pebbles (AKA Fluffystuff).

Fluffystuff Where is my sister

Outgoing, playful, enjoys her food, not a talker but leaves you in no doubt as to her feelings about anything.  Loves to be outside no matter the weather.  I adopted her and her sister Ebony (AKA Black Cat) together, sixteen or so years ago, from a backyard breeder.

Sadly Black Cat died of various ailments a few weeks ago, and if Fluffy isn’t grieving then I don’t really have an answer for the way she is behaving.  I left Black cat’s bed where it was for a few days after she passed, thinking it may be easier if everything didn’t change quite so fast for Fluffy.  However, the morning after there was no Black Cat in her bed, I woke to find that Fluffy had pulled out her bed and disrupted all of the bedding , clearly confused as to where her sister was.  I removed the bed and bedding at this point.

Meal times were always spent together.  Black cat, being the talker, would come and find me (Fluffy in tow, simply observing quietly), and make a hustle in whatever way she could to get my attention.  We would all three of us proceed to the kitchen where I would do my duty as cat mum, and provide tasty meals. They had designated places on the mat where the food bowls are kept.  Having all the space to herself has made no difference to Fluffy, she goes to her place and if the bowl is not where it should be, she is confused again.

Fluffy has become a talker, looking at me and miaowing, which wasn’t really a feature of her personality before.  She is staying inside the house most of the day, again not really like her old self at all.  She is more clingy than before, and sits almost on top of me in the evenings when we are watching tv.  She follows me around in the mornings for about half an hour before going to her daybed and staying there all day.  This is not how she was before Black cat’s passing.

Clearly my girl is missing her sister and so am I.  I have heeded some of the advice in the articles I read, spending more time with Fluffy, I am talking to her but trying not to indulge the behaviour so that it becomes habit.

Do I think pets/cats grieve?  Oh yes I do. In fact I know they do.  It’s quite heartbreaking because I can’t change the situation, I can’t explain.  I hope that time is a healer for cats too.



Update on Ebony the beautiful black cat and recipe!


This is a photograph from 2012. The bed is long gone (and come to think of it the cushion too), but I’m happy to report that despite a horrendous morning she seems ok following yesterday’s surgery.

The lump on her face has been excised and only one stitch was necessary. HOWEVER, they sent her home from the vet yesterday with one of those funnel things on her head.  She was fine whilst confined to her cat carrier, but once let loose (which she achieved like a greyhound jumping out the gate), she took off like a jack rabbit despite having convinced me over the past year that this was a feat far beyond her, trying to outrun the thing that was surrounding her.  Nothing would convince her that she wasn’t in danger.  I finally managed to corral her and pick her up for a chat and a cuddle.  She was having none of it. The minute she was loose, she took off again.  The worst part was she couldn’t navigate, she kept bashing into the furniture, and doors.  She was completely disorientated and clearly still under the influence of the anaesthetic.

I finally managed to put her into a room by herself with her bed and other necessities and left her to sleep it off, whilst checking in regularly.

This morning, I heard her bashing into things again at about 6am so I got up to see how she was.  She was not happy at all. When she knocked into anything she froze and would just stay there, not quite knowing what to do.  She didn’t understand why she couldn’t see her way out of the situation.

Things didn’t go well, although she was eating, she wouldn’t use her litter tray or drink out of a bowl (she has developed a habit of asking to be put in the bath and the tap turned on) which works most of the time, and I indulge her because of the kidney disease. However I had visions of the funnel filling up with water and the spluttering and coughing that would ensue wouldn’t do either of us any good.

Finally, and you need to know that I had placed her bed in my computer room!  I went to check on her and she was frozen in front of my desk, frightened to move.  She had pee’d in her bed  (a lot of pee too), which seeped all the way through many layers of blanket, padded cushion etc, to the carpet beneath. And she was clearly most distressed. I made the decision to remove the funnel. Which had to be cut off.  I also removed the bandage where the IV drip had been.  She is now looking and feeling much happier and is acting normally.  I’m winging it with the stitch in her head, which if she worries it too much will become dislodged. But we couldn’t continue the way we were.

The vet doesn’t want to see her for two weeks and no med’s so it’s hopefully all good going forward.

For anyone in this predicament (i.e cat urine on carpet), this is a proven, (by me), method of cleaning and neutralizing the odour. Click here

I’m not sure I would do this again, so I hope that lump is gone for good.

Thank you for reading.






Another album for a gift

Things didn’t go quite as planned with this album but I think I managed to save it.

As I mentioned, September is a big birthday month for me.  I made two albums as gifts and each one had it’s challenges.  The basic album is the same for each one, you can see my first album here, Rachel’s album.

Front cover
Pages with top loading pockets
A tag for each pocket

Sadly the birthday girl is unwell and we haven’t yet caught up on the promised lunch date.  She’s not a blogger so I feel safe showing you her album and not spoiling the surprise.

A few more photo’s .  I really loved making this and I see a few more to come.

So what went wrong???

I had completed the album cover and inserted all the pages and was admiring my handiwork.  I was so disappointed to see that the spine had split on one side.  I didn’t want to start all over again but I didn’t quite know what to do about it.  I thought I could put another cover over the spine and tried different things but wasn’t really happy with anything.

I knew the cover of the album was going to be finished in white, silver and blue (my friends favourite colours) and I had some white muslin. This idea was either make or break and I had a distinct vision of it all ending up in the bin.  However I persevered and came up with this for the cover.


It worked out pretty well I thought.  I hope you enjoyed seeing my friend’s birthday album. I’ll let you know what she thinks when we catch up.

Happy crafting.




Mini Tag Album for my Brother

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE  I hope you are enjoying the break and spending time with your loved ones.  Our Melbourne weather could have been better this Easter, but it probably will be later, that’s one of the things we love about this wonderful City.

We recently suffered a very sad event in my family, my sister passed away after a long battle with breast cancer.  After a few conversations with my brother, and on learning that he didn’t have many photographs of our beloved sister, I decided to put together a memory album for him.  I wasn’t sure of what style to use and eventually settled on a series of Tags, joined together at the top by a single ring.


I made the tags using a 2013 desk calendar which I trimmed into tags. (I love to repurpose, or recycle things). You could easily make the base cards by cutting down some manilla file folders to the desired size, I then added Stampin’ UP! Designer Series Paper, from Venetian Romance, Etcetera and Epic Day This and That collections.


I included some letters we had shared and lots of small photo’s and anecdotes that my brother may not have known.  I have left my brother space to put any photo’s that he may want to add and space to write things if he wants.

I really enjoyed putting this together.  It gave me an opportunity to indulge myself in thoughts of my sister.

Why not have a try at making your own personal little tag album. This one measures 7 1/4″ x 4 1/8″.

If you would like to order any of the Stampin’ UP! supplies that I have used, or if you would like a Stampin’ UP! catalogue, or perhaps you would like to attend one of my card making or album making classes.  If so, please leave me a message or call me on  0414 887 738.