Monsterful Monday

Just keep crafting

My first week of working on 15 in 2015 is done. I’ve been chipping away at a couple of the projects on the list, and gathering materials for another. So the first t-shirt quilt is edging slowly closer to being done, and I’ve made about 20 more hexipuffs.

I’ve been devoting about 20 minutes each morning before I go to work to crafting. It means getting up a bit earlier but doing something for myself that I enjoy makes a big difference to how I feel about the day. And it sure beats waking up and immediately checking e-mail.

Fun with photos

One of my Christmas gifts was a new digital camera which I’m slowly getting the hang of using. My poor old phone just about managed to limp through to the New Year, and then I had to replace it, so my Christmas gift to myself was a new phone for which I immediately got myself a couple of playing-with-photos apps which I’ve been messing about with a lot and thoroughly enjoying.

OK, I have the feeling I already talked about that. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

But! You can see one of the results of my playing with photos at the top of the page- check out the shiny new header- now with at least 75% more punk rock!

Anyway I’m hoping to make good use of the new camera to take lots of lovely pictures of things for this blog. And for myself.

Cold water on a hot day

The Best Beloved and I went to a pool party at the weekend. It’s only the third one I’ve ever attended, and the first since I was a teenager. It was also the first one where I actually had fun. I ate scones and talked about tattoos. Then I hung out in a beautiful cold pool on a hot day (SO good) and talked about knitting. A great way to spend an afternoon and evening.

Getting into gear for 2015

I know I’m a bit late to the party but I’m working on wishes and visions for 2015. The craft challenges are a big part of it, but there are plenty of other things I’d like to achieve and do. To do this I’m using, among other tools, Leonie Dawson’s Create Your Shining Year– and so far so good. We’ll see how things materialise, but I’m grateful for having access to things like this to learn and develop.

The little things

Snuggles with the Best Beloved, naps, nice yarn, Veronica Varlow, quiet time, fun stationery, the library, trips out and about, meditation, stretching the muscles, sunshine, green spaces, barbecue, kisses.

2014: a gratitude roundup

I think I must be getting older, because the years seem to disappear so fast now. I feel like it was only a nap ago I was in Sydney for last New Year’s Eve. 2014 has rocketed by, but it’s been a good year with lots to be thankful. This is one of the best times to reflect back on what’s happened and look forward to the future. I’ve got big plans for 2015, which I’ll talk more about tomorrow. But for now, here are some of the things I’ve been most grateful for in the year that’s about to be gone.

ABM_1419803422

 

The Best Beloved

I thought I’d get the really sappy one in first. You can scroll past it if you want. I am so grateful every day to have met him. I’d still be honoured to know him even if we’d remained as just friends, but having him as my boyfriend is truly a blessing. He’s my hero, the best and kindest man it has ever been my good fortune to love. I don’t plan on letting him go.

ABM_1419992072

Adventures

Hikes out and about in Auckland, parades, a wonderful wedding, parties, craft, LARPs. This has been a good year for getting up to shenanigans, exploring new places, and trying new things. I hope for much much more in this line in the coming year, but I’m so thankful for all the fun and happy memories this year has brought me.

ABM_1419992277

My crazy, wonderful friends

Who I hope won’t mind being in the little photo montage above! And yes, OK, Geoffery Peabody Wildington III isn’t a friend. She’s family… I’m thankful for the friends who I’ve gotten to know better this year, like my lovely flatmates. For the new friends I’ve met. For the old friends who I’ve had all kinds of fun with, who know just as I do how easy it is to accidentally books. Or Typo. Or patterns. I just couldn’t imagine life without the splendid people I have in it, and who I’m incredibly thankful for every day (it’s not everyone who could put up with someone like me).

ABM_1419992418

Big changes

If you’d told me back in January that by the end of the year I’d have multiple tattoos, bright red-pink hair, and be actually enjoying doing exercise and wearing red lipstick regularly, I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s been a big year for me in how I see myself, and how I show myself to the world. I feel like I’m being a LOT more truthful and authentic to who I am and who I want to be, and to have come as far as I have is something I never would have expected. I’m so thankful to be in the place that I am now, and to be looking forward to growing into myself even more.

How about you? What have been the highlights of 2014 for you? Let me know in the comments!

Monsterful Monday: Starring Gibby the Gibbon

We had a bake-off at work on Friday, after I suggested the idea. My pink leopard print cake got a bit smooshed but apparently tasted exactly like a Strawberry Rocky Road icecream, and I’m determined to practice and get the spots right next time (which means 4 more eggs and better piping, I suspect). If you want to have a go, you can find instructions for creating a leopard-print-on-the-inside cake at the Sweet Dreams website.

I didn’t win any prizes, but I DID win the weekly hosting of Gibby the Gibbon, the office plushie, along with Lorraine the office manager who actually did most of the work. So Gibby is living on her desk for most of the week but he was on mine for a bit so I could take a photo:

Gibby the Gibbon

Meet Gibby!

Yes, I know, he’s a leetle extra fuzzy. I’m still getting the hang of holding the camera still for Pro HDR photos. Where this is going is that I’m very grateful to be working in a team of people who are so friendly, and having any kind of effort appreciated is a wonderful thing which I absolutely don’t take for granted. I’m especially thankful for Jamjar, who is also a blogger and tells me about things like the blogging meetup I went to on Tuesday, where this happened:

Blogger Meetup

 

We’re typing, we’re typing!

Meetup 2

 

You should totes go check out Jamjar’s blog, too.  The meetup was so helpful, I got some good feedback and came away feeling inspired to rock this out.  Always something to be thankful for!

I’ve got my next tattoo appointment booked this Saturday with Nursey No Mercy and I can’t wait, so thankful to have things to anticipate. Bring on the pain! I’m also rather surprised and grateful about how OK my parents are with the idea. Them not supporting it wouldn’t have changed my plans but I’ve found it difficult in the past to share things with them because of the lack of support. So even though I don’t *need* it, I’m thankful to have it.

I’m still thankful for my pink hair, which according to the Best Beloved’s Mum makes me look like Strawberry Shortcake. I’ll take it!

I’d like to be able to tell you about the Christmas crafts I have lined up. I’d *like* to, but a) I haven’t fully decided on all of them and b) the Best Beloved reads this blog and one of them is for him.

Darn, now he knows I’m making him something. And yes, I know October is quite early to be thinking about Christmas crafts, but by the time they start playing carols in the supermarket, it’s way too late to get started on anything. Unless you’re a LOT faster than me at knitting. OR WHATEVER CRAFT I AM USING TO MAKE THE PRESENTS. Ha! Now I have you guessing, don’t I?

Finally, this Thursday on the blog I’ll be sharing a craft project with you that I’ve been working on for a while, which I think is very special and which I’m so excited to show you. I’ll even be sharing how you can make one, too! It’s magical, it’s very personal, and it’s very punk rock (by which I mean straightforward, no messing about, reach into your heart and bring out awesomeness). I hope you love it as much as I do!

How about you? What are you grateful for this week?

Monsterful Monday- My Arcana Courts, 3/4: Wands

Special mentions first- tea, Voltaren, fruit pie, quiet nights in, snuggles with the Best Beloved, having a fancypants whole food shop at the end of my street, exciting news from friends, knitting inspiration, Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy was so much fun), Kirk the Ravager, Chibi silliness, washing up.

Wands. Now I admit, I was actually going to leave the Wands until last, because of the suits it’s the one I haven’t fully got my head around yet. According to Veronica, wands/staves are the people who inspire you to do amazing things. World-changing things. Being of service to others. These are the most inspirational people in your life, in many ways. Pure magic, raw, hungry, go-out-and-do-it, be-the-change-you-want-to-see energy.

My pages/princesses of wands, I would say, are my Godparents. In their different ways they’ve each shown me what it means to go out and do something to make your mark on the world. One has faced great personal challenges in the form of disabilities. One has spent most of their life in Africa as a doctor. One is a parish priest, making a difference to many lives in many small and large ways every week. Each, in their different way, has done something good for the world. I’m grateful that I had that example growing up, and I hope that in achieving the dreams I have for my own life I can push out that positive energy into the world and bring good to others.

For me, the Knight of Wands is my friend Vanya.  Burlesque, acrobatics, theatre, fire, he does all of it. He’s busy busy all the time working on new things. He’s action and making a name for himself and pure, raw, go-for-it, a blast of fire magic. He takes 100 times more risks than most other people. Sure he has a few more interesting scars because of that, but he also has more successes. He throws himself into things headlong, commits, grabs hold and doesn’t let go. Because of thta he brings other people along for the ride, because they start to realise that if he can do it, so can they. He’s a great example of going after your dreams hell-for-leather, and as with my pages/princesses, I’m grateful for the trail he’s blazed because it’s shown how it can be done. He makes me want to up my game.

My Queens of Wands, I would say, are my fabulous girlfriends Erin and Hannah. They’re the ones who say “of COURSE you can do that!” to even my craziest ideas. They radiate love and goodness, and make peoples lives better just by being in them. They nurture my dreams, remind me of the unique gifts I have, give emotional support. They want to make the world better, again each in their different way. I feel like they visualise the world as they want it to be, and yes can be dispirited when it’s not that way yet, but they keep on loving, feeding, taking care, bringing light. I am so thankful for them.  

King of Wands is hard. For every achievement I know those in my life have made, I know they want to do more. We’re all growing and changing, all the time. I’m grateful to have that love and support around me, and to be able to offer it to others. I want to lift others up to achieve their goals, be steadfast, just as they are for me. And that’s what I have to say about that.

What about you? Who are your inspirations? Who makes you want to change the world and makes you feel that you can do it, too? Let me know in the comments!