Thursday, October 31, 2013

The End - blogtoberfest 2013. And a giveaway.

It's the last day of Blogtoberfest.
How did I go?
I managed 20 posts (0ncluding this one).
I passed a total of 800 posts. I never knew I had so much to share!
I planned to have a giveaway for the 800th post, but I just wasn't organised enough - what with the bushfire distractions and all. (see below)

I have visited some lovely new blogs and replenished other connections.
I'd like to have visited more, but I still can!

I want to thank everyone who has visited my blog and left kind and thoughtful comments - I totally value them.

I'd like to thank Michelle from Shells in the Bush for hosting blogtoberfest this year and doing a wonderful job.

What now?

I'd like to be a bit more structured with my blogging or a bit more organised maybe.
I'm going to run a series of posts about some of my arty and crafty friends, seeing as I know so many!
Starting tomorrow.

It's never too late - right?
so I'm having a giveaway now!

This is the prize - 

A pretty and feminine shell necklace decorated with roses and connected by a silver-plated chain.

Here's what you need to do.

1. Follow my blog.
2. Follow me on facebook.
3. Follow me on pinterest
4. Visit my shop and tell me which piece of jewellery is your favorite.
5. Leave a comment here when you have done any or all of the above.
Remember to tell me how I can contact you if you should win.

Closes midnight Monday 11th November.

ps if you have trouble leaving a comment  hop over to my facebook page and leave it there and I'll be sure to count it.

Thanks so much for visiting and good luck!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What a week! Wordless Wednesday.

well-deserved coffee at Lewers Cafe, Emu Plains

still very smoky
if you are looking for paradise....

dragonboat racing for dragons abreast at Darling Harbour

I evacuated to here (not bad!)

Monday, October 28, 2013

MIA and trying to get back to normal.

I've been missing in action....or rather, INaction!

The reason is - the bushfires.
I find it impossible to concentrate on anything, get much done beyond the basics.
Just survive - eat, drink, sleep.
Oh, and sit on facebook with its updates from various local groups about the fires.

There is a Blue Mountains firewatch page as well as the NSWFRS page and many local Rural Fire Brigades have their own pages.
It's all rivetting.

Within hours, or sooner there was a facebook Blue Mountains Fire Recovery page - with all sorts of offers of help.
It was truly amazing!
People have donated food, clothes, furniture, cars and offers of accommodation.
A mind-boggling amount of stuff has been collected and in fact the collection centres very soon had to close their doors to more donations as they were overflowing.
There are fundraising events - sausage sizzles, garage sales, concerts and who knows what else!

People have offered to help others clean up.
Have offered to look after pets and other animals.
A page was set up to share dresses for year 12 formals.

Then on Wednesday the weather was forecast to be severe again - hot with strong northerly winds and we were advised that if we didn't have to be in the mountains then we should leave!
When Mr planet came home from work on Tuesday evening I asked him if he was going to work the next day? He seemed slightly bemused.
Then I explained about the message from the RFS and he decided to stay to defend the house and as per our plan I would go.
So I packed all our photographs - yes, ALL out photographs, despite Mr planet saying I shouldn't.
I took some clothes.
I took our fabulously expensive sleeping bags, mats and tent. (At least then we would have something to sleep in).
And I took pretty much ALL my beads.
.....and some findings and such.

The house was well- prepared - gutters cleaned and plugged, anything flammable was moved away from the house, buckets and garbage bins filled with water. Towels out ready.
Hoses at the ready.

Cat was dispatched to a friend's house - much to her disgust!

Me? I had a lovely sleepover at my daughter's place near the beach.

And the fires? They didn't come this way.
Such a relief.
So grateful to the firies who put in a mammoth effort to back burn and put in containment lines and put out spot fires and all that other stuff that they do.

Anyway - it is all hugely distracting as you can imagine.

I am trying to get back to normal.
I have brought my beads back in - but now I can't find anything!
Some stuff is still in the car and the photos stayed at their beachside retreat.

The cat was retrieved from behind friend's computer desk and is acting like nothing happened.
Half her luck!

Friday, October 18, 2013


Yes, I live in a beautiful part of the world....but there is a downside.
We are OK where we are at the moment although we were on alert yesterday as the fires were heading in our direction, but they didn't get there thanks goodness.

However some areas were hit badly.
People we know have lost their homes.

photo by Jason Webster via Blue Mountains Gazette
via Blue Mountains Gazette
More than 20 fires are still burning in NSW.
An estimated 200 homes have been destroyed.

via Blue Mountains Gazette

via Blue Mountains Gazette
When a bushfire strikes like this, people have very little warning, people were at work or out for the day they have no chance to take anything with them.
Everything is lost - everything.
It is unimaginable.

Donations are being accepted now by the Salvation Army and the Red Cross - every little bit helps.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Alberto Cozzi - a little bit of heaven in Florence.

Florence is a paper addicts heaven!
Of course it is well known for its colourful marbled paper - and you do see a lot of it once you start looking.
It was a lovely surprise to come across the first of many lovely little papery goods shops....and they had such delightful little cards.

And then we wandered past Alberto Cozzi - but just had to go in!

In the back you can see the craftspeople actually crafting with paper and making the marbled variety.
They also do book-binding and leather stamping.

Behind the counter is a rack of all sorts of interesting-looking tools!
(and those of you who are fascinated with tools will think they're interesting as well!)

I bought a few little gifts - paper-wrapped bracelets.

And paper-wrapped pens.

I wish we'd had more time/money/space to investigate more.

Highly recommended if/when you visit Florence.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Welcome back! I'm having a sale.

Going away and off-line for a whole month is hard when you are running a business, so as a little notice that I'm back and I'm in business, I'm offering 20% off across the board in my etsy shop.

amethyst and pearl necklace
You just need to enter the discount code WELCOMEBACK1 at checkout.

Have you done your Christmas shopping yet?

What are you waiting for!

Monday, October 14, 2013

How to - do all sorts of things! Fab and fun DIYs from how-to craft sites this week. Blogtoberfest 2013 day 14.

Here are some tasty little morsels for you to try.

Hands up - who likes salted caramels?

From Cut Out and Keep - how to make salted caramels in the microwave.

This is another one I need to try - it makes adjustable bracelets!

How to make a sliding macrame bracelet - also from Cut Out and Keep.

This one appeals to me on so many levels - recycling and cycling!

Bicycle hand guards from instructables.

Here is a new twist on the recycled-jeans-bag.

Make a denim bag from an old pair of jeans.
Found on instructables.

I love the look of these sweet little books.

Cute little matchbook size sketch pads

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Weekend wanderings - blogtoberfest 2013 day 13.

We went for a bushwalk.
It was meant to be an easy little jaunt....but turned into a 3 1/4 hour epic!

We started in Glenbrook where unfortunately there has been some recent burning of the bush - deliberate (as in hazard reduction) or accidental (as in actual bushfire) we weren't sure as the bush wasn't completely burnt and it was only on one side of the path.

We were descending to Glenbrook creek which is actually a lot further away than it looks here -

Down at creek level, there are lots of nice swimming holes.

Mr planet contemplating the water -

There isn't really a track along the creek, but a bit of a foot pad and walking involved a fair bit of rock-hopping, scrambling and pushing through bushes.
It's not that hard, I just wasn't in the mood for it.

It was a bit warm.

So eventually we did go for a dunk in the water - which was surprisingly cold!
And there are no pictures as we had to skinny-dip.

It cooled us off before the climb out and back along the fire trail to the car.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Saturday seven - 7 movies

One of the good things about loooong plane trips (apart from going somewhere fab) is the inflight entertainment these days (unless you fly some low-cost airlines)....and catching up on some movies I may have missed.
Also seeing some brand-spanking-new ones that haven't been released here yet.

In all I managed to squeeze in 10, that's T.E.N movies! But we were in the air for 40 hours altogether so I actually physically watched more!

The best 7 of the movies I saw on the plane are -

1. The Place Beyond the Pines

The thing I liked most about this movie was the way the protagonist changes through the film. In fact it is more like 3 stories linked by strong connections. To say too much would be to be a spoiler.
Good believable performances and a tightly told story. Oh, it's not such a happy story, but not every story is happy.
Worth watching.

2. The Way Way Back.

Cute, quirky, off-beat, funny.
I liked it!
Great over-the-top characters and a lovely heart-warming story about being different, fitting in and acceptance.

3. Good Vibrations.

I enjoyed this quirky little film - a true story about Terry Hooley who opened a record shop in Belfast which led to him being a promoter of Ireland's punk rock bands.
His character is so adorably naive and sweet-natured, you just want him to succeed.
Notably I managed to fall asleep while watching it - Punk Music in my headphones and all!

4. Side Effects.

I was totally engaged by this movie. I thought the acting was really tops. And the story, although rather far-fetched had twists and turns aplenty.
Good airplane fodder.

5. Arthur Newman.

Well it has Colin Firth in - say no more!
I actually like Colin Firth as an actor, for the roles he chooses.
This slightly off-beat story was fun, moving and engaging.
4 stars!

6. Night Train to Lisbon.

I read this at my book club in fact it was the first book that we read after I joined.
And quite frankly I thought it was awful!
If it hadn't been my first book I certainly wouldn't have finished it, so it was with some interest I tuned in to the movie.
I must say it made a rather nice little movie, the book has been pared down (as movies really have to when adapting a book).
I liked Jeremy Irons in the role and I liked the look of the film and the way the story was told.

A nice surprise.

7. Drift, Mud, Quartet or Outside Bet
I cant decide - they are all reasonably average air-flight fodder.

Have you seen any good movies lately?
Seen any of these? What did you think?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Five Friday Faves - the last on! Blogtoberfest 2013, day 11.

I've decided this will be my last Fabulous Friday Finds...for a while anyway.
I'm going to try something different on this space.....

So here are a few fabulous finds that I have recently favorited -

How could I go past this? Cloud Atlas is my favorite book!
And what gorgeous colours in this handfelted tunic.

cloud atlas tunic by LybaV

Who doesn't love a handmade book?
Love the styling in Moon Rabbit's photos too.

handbound book by MoonRabbitHandmade
If I could I would collect salt and pepper shakers....but not sure how they would fit in with my chicken collection....there are other cute ones too - cats, birds, pomegranates....oh, yum!
porcelain salt and pepper shakers by BackBayPottery
Loving the amazing colours on these etched copper bracelets.
etched copper bracelet by annamcdade
And how could I not pick this sweet blue mountain brooch.
Look at it!
blue mountain brooch by NariDesignPot
OK, lovely people that a wrap!
Hope you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Creative Space - getting my beads out. Blobtoberfest 2013 day 10.

I've been away for a while - as you no doubt know!
And now it is October! Yikes!
It will be Christmas before you know it.
Big markets and festivals are coming up.....
but..... the jewellery cupboard is bare.....luckily the bead cupboard is not bare.

So I ventured into my workroom and pulled out some strands of brand-spanking-new beads.

Just for a bit of a warm-up I made some simple necklaces - I like to think of this as my monochrome range, but maybe I need a different name.

aquamarine necklace

turquoise howlite

green agate

pink faceted agate

red coral
I also made some sparkly faceted glass bracelets.

What have you been creating this week?
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