Saturday, February 27, 2010

Birthday parties... Frida Kahlo

I like planning the birthday parties, I get to indulge my kids in a special way and it is an outlet for my creative energies.

My interest in Frida Kahlo's work and planning birthdays, collided spectacularly when I came across this fantastic blog. My mind went into overdrive. I then re-read Kahlo's biography (which I have had for a long time) and bought the Selma Hayek movie which is visually stunning.

Bear's birthday gift was to be an easel and paints so it fit with the theme perfectly. Later I added some Frida themed framed prints from LuLu...and Tacsha ( I also used her cards for the invites). The prints look lovely in her room and are a great reminder of her party.

In hindsight I planned to do too much in this party (too many ideas!!) so there was a big fail in one respect - there was only one portrait completed during the party but I must say that one portrait was gorgeous. I really should have listened to that little voice that whispered "paper collage". Bear's birthday is at the end of summer so the party decorations were excellent summer craft activities for all of us.

I spent many hours online seeking out more Mexican themed ideas and tutorials for the making of pinatas and papel picado. I ended up with 40ft of papel picado and a tissue paper chandelier.

In addition I made rose headbands and little stuffed Milagro 'burning" hearts from fabric for the favours, together with a colourwheel from Blik. Party game prizes were brightly coloured bracelets from Claire's. The game of Loteria I purchased online very inexpensively, a large one to play and mini ones for inside the pinata to accompany the candy. As Loteria is a game of chance I felt it appropriate to give Milagro charms as prizes. It was an opportunity to learn a little about Mexican culture and practice some spanish.

We found a brightly tiered skirt for Bear, together with bright party dresses for Boo and Yum Yum, at Children's Place. I already had a tiered peasant skirt. I embellished Bear's skirt with additional ribbons. And with a huge silent YES!!! I scored two perfect peasant style embroidered white blouses at a local discount clothing store. I trimmed one down to fit Bear and used the excess to give mine a little more bust room. We also did beading together to make her a special necklace featuring Frida Kahlo charms from Michaels Crafts. Together with several purchased hairbands with large bright silk flowers, a bunch more necklaces, some make up, shawls and an eyebrow pencil ...we had plenty of fun dressing up and taking photos of our guests " Fridafied" against our personalised backdrop.

We had fajitas and tacos for dinner. We had fun making fresh fruit smoothies for the girls and margaritas/pina coladas for the adults. We would have been saved some work if we had catered the food , even though ours was delicious it was hard work trying to do everything at once.

There are loads more photos in my Flickr set.

Thanks again to Erika of Mikodesigns for the inspiration. Please feel free to ask any questions about the party that you may have in the comments. It was over 6 months ago but I might be able to find additional links for you if you are interested in the suppliers. During this time the breadwinner was actually in Mexico several times but he was not much help- shopping is not his forte. Sorry, I am still figuring out how to fine tune the layout of my blog posts.

Friday, February 26, 2010

snow day

Here in NJ we are in the midst of a "Winterblast"," Snowicane" or less sensationally. snow. Lots of has been snowing constantly for two days and we have a foot of fresh snow on top of the remains of last weeks snowfall- about 6 inches of a sloppy mess. It's pretty , and unfortunately for civilisation as it exists here, incovenient. And yes, it makes travel difficult and at times dangerous. But only IF you need to go somewhere.
Fortunately we don't. However the Breadwinner is in London and is due to fly home tomorrow. We are crossing our fingers that he doesn't get delayed.

We are on day 2 of school Snow Day, so a 4 day weekend.
The Bear , Boo and Yum Yum went out to play in this white fantasy. It took at least 30 minutes to get everyone dressed. Yum Yum lasted about 5 minutes. Bear and Boo went on a snow trek around the house and then played in it on our deck. Now everyone is back inside resuming couch potato and computer game positions. And I have a big pile of wet gear.

Life is so much easier in summer, keep the doors open, in, out all day long, and Tinky is a much happier cat. Being cooped up inside during winter means that the house gets trashed, we eat too many snacks and watch too much TV. We have missed our ballet and swimming classes.

The worst thing that could happen is that we lose power or needed a doctor in a hurry. If we lose power we lose heat, water (we have a well with an electric pump) and internet (that would be terrible). I wouldn't be able to open the garage door. I'd have to build a fire in a room with a catherdral ceiling to keep my family warm and we would eat peanut butter. At least the food wouldn't spoil because that can go in the snow. I've not tried flushing a toilet with snow- I guess the pipes would eventually freeze - Eeew. With wet sticky snow building up on trees, the trees tend to fall down. Why oh why they don't put the electricity cables underground I don't understand! It's not as if they don't know how- our street is all underground power. So instead every time there is a storm we lose power and peolpe have to risk their lives in the weather to restore it and at other times to continually prune the trees that pose a risk. We are talking big trees- oaks and pines. For those unused to living with snow, I have to shovel our front path so that visitors can make it to our front door. We have someone plough the snow from our driveway and the streets are ploughed (and salted) by the township. We don't have sidewalks so we don't have that responsibility. Mind you I'd rather clean sidewalks than not have the sidewalks but that's a different gripe,
And in order to maintain mail service I must dig out the mailbox so that our friendly mailman can access it in his special little truck and if I don't the friendly mailman leaves terse warnings in my mailbox. Sleet yes, snow no. Since all the snow from the road is piled up alongside the road, it's a little more difficult than you might think. We have our cars in the garage so we don't have to dig them out... not sure why people here rather fill their garages up with junk and leave their cars out in the snow. Headshake over that one.

But I am making mountains out of mole hills here... I don't have it hard. Not at all. Snow here is at about the right frequency to be fun and I suspect all the NJ griping is because they just needed a new thing to gripe about. It's the length of the winter I object to!

All this cabin fever is putting me in a mood to
MAKE something.
Not sure what but something! I started a pair of little pillows for Boo & Yum Yum..but not feeling like hand stitching just yet. I have used Heat n Bond to attach details to little house shapes.

And I'm so excited that I am signed up to do Rachel & Peta's online digital photography course in April. I'll be installing photoshop Elements soon and figuring out how to access the thousands of images from the past 5 years that I have on the hard drive. Hopefully you will see the results of these efforts in the near future. I also have bookmarked a lot to read about privacy/security...

So keep warm, or keep cool, just keep it real!

Edited to add , this is the 6th winter we have had here... looking out at snow falling from inside a cosy house at Christmas time just NEVER gets old. A sunny blue sky and sparkly white snow is glorious. Slushy muddy muck and 5 months of cold, so over it.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Things you don't really want to hear....

Things I'm not sure I wanted/expected to hear....

1. Corina, your car battery is dead. (put in context- first time for everything, the news you had to have, I am a big girl now, I can handle this but do I want to?)
2. Canonball !!!!!! (heard via baby monitor, asked 10 year old to put twins in bath)
3. Kiss my butt! (during same bath- yes, the giggling 3 year olds)
4. I forgot to hand my homework in (the homework we had 2 snow days to complete and stayed up late to finish)
5. Oh, what time will I be home, well actually I am going out to dinner with the people that are visiting from blah blah (breadwinner at 6.30pm)
6. Some guy at the office died (33 years old, kids, skiing NO F'ING HELMET)

Funny things to hear

A complicated discussion place taking under the dining table about Prince Charming ....... "true loves kiss?, Yes KISS her!, She's NOT waking UP??? Get some one else! Someone else has to help. The Penguin?" Yes, get the Penguin! "etc

Things THEY do not want to hear...

1. Do your homework (it's up there with clean your room)
2. It's time to tidy up (yep , clears the room EVERY time)
3. It's bedtime

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

ooooooh SQUEEE fonts!

I am conscious that all this fooling around with the blog is a lot like reading an assignment written by an 8 year old that has just discovered fonts. It is Awful. I know. Sorry. Desktop publishing is available to EVERYBODY now. And just like anything , some do it better than others.

My Little Blog is saying "But I just want to look pretty". Don't we all.

Oh, Little Blog, you are experiencing puberty. Every time you look in the mirror you will look different. You will be a little clumsy at times , too much make up, your features might be out of proportion and a couple of nasty pimples might pop up. And did I mention there will be growing pains? Maybe even ..GASP... INSULTS. But you will grow out of it.

Fortunately I have a friend who is a little more computer savvy than I am in terms of graphic design. I promise to consult her in the very near future.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wonky Blossoms - Inspired by Leslie!

I wanted to do a post to thank Leslie whose work inspired me to make these "Wonky Blossoms" for the newborn twin girls of a friend here in the US. Until recently (ie tonight!) I hadn't managed to stumble upon the source and now I would like to link back to Leslie's '
blog . I really enjoyed making these.

As the mother of twins I was trying to give something unique but not too 'precious". We are drowning here in a sea of outgrown clothes, toys and baby gear. I didn't want to give something that would become clutter.

Her delight and appreciation for the gift of the Wonky Blossoms was well worth the time it took to stitch them. It took a little while to select the fabrics and do the embroidery. I wasn't able to assemble the blossoms as neatly as I would have liked. Having 3 year old twins at the time meant this was a project I had to adjust to doing in little snatches of time.

My friend, the mother of these babies, is someone to whom I was instantly drawn when I first met her in Singapore. She is a genuinely sweet person. At that time I was engaged and she, well, was with someone that wasn't good enough only she didn't seem to see that. For a time we all shared a house in Holland Village. We were thrilled when she kicked Mr Wrong to the curb, and ended up with Mr Right.

We were stoked when we were able to visit them and their 2 children in Texas in 2005. Very excited when they moved closer to us- PA. And stunned when she told us that she was unexpectedly expecting twins...girls at that. If 10 years ago anyone had suggested that I would be living in the USA not too far from this friend I would have scoffed at such an unlikely scenario as nice as the idea may have been. That we would both have a set of twin girls, there would have been beverages exiting from my nostrils.

Life has proven to me to be so full of the totally unexpected that when I try to guess what our future holds, I try to now deliberately think of the most far fetched thing I can. And yet everything is a consequence of some conscious decision, and the future is probably written in front of us but we don't have our reading glasses on. Who wrote that...oh I think I just did LOL.

I woke this morning convinced I should run to delete the cat post. After rereading it I was actually happy I had written it down (apart from the typos). There were lots of things that that had started to fade from my memory. I can't say it was all pleasant recalling the emotions that went along but I hadn't intended to chronicle my life from that perspective when I tried to simply tried to explain why Tinkerbell is our cat. There is a shorter answer of course.

The excercise raised questions that I can ask of my mother whilst I still can. I will go on to finish the cat story soon. I have debated with myself how much of the Ugly I should leave out but I think I needed to acknowledge it because otherwise it isn't going to be the whole picture. I don't think I have a gift for creating fiction, and I didn't come here to be constantly checking myself. I really don't want to be bitter, twisted and boring either, just honest. I won't say that I had it bad, but it wasn't good. Eventually it all exploded. This is also something that informs my views on mothering, on parenting, on families and on my own motivations, strengths and many weaknesses.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Let's get the cat post out of the way shall we? I'll start with the rabbit...

I can really only talk about my present cat in the context of my experience with past cats and other animals. I'll try to get it all done with here and then the cat post will be done.

We are cat people. It didn't start out that way. The breadwinner wasn't a cat person. Based on what I now know, pets, other than some very strange goldfish (hmmm must ask the ILS where they went?) did not prosper in his childhood home. None of his family has had much of an affinity for animals (or craft) although second BIL 's family now has a small dog. The fact that his mother is allergic to cats was probably the main reason. That and the fact that she was a working mum who had 3 boys more interested in surfing. The breadwinner was clueless about domestic pets and it should have been obvious to me when we were first "courting". He presented me with a pet rabbit. A tiny little black and white bunny we called Rex. Not the most practical of gifts but points for originality and "the thought that counts". To put it into perspective we were living in separate rented accommodation at the time. Both working full time. No bunny hutch or caged run. In Singapore. Our lives carefree but defined by Visas, single, working hard, party hard etc etc. It can only be described as irresponsible gift giving. He died of course, not for lack of care on our part but rather because of the poor sanitary conditions of the pet shop from which he came.The vet told me he was unlikely to survive. The vet was right. But he was adorable...and he'll be fondly remembered. RIP Rex.

And not much later our relationship became more serious and were were living in the same rented acomodation still in Singapore, we happened upon an elderly woman with a cage of rescued kittens. Holland Village was at most times awash with strays and the pitiful mewings of stray cats and kittens. So hold that thought and let me review my family's history of pet ownership.

My earliest memory of having a pet was that of a chubby puppy with stumpy legs. We lived in the Highlands of PNG at the time and having a dog was probably a sensible thing. Only ours was no guard dog, he was ridiculously cute and I'm not sure but maybe a snake ate him. He probably wasn't an indoor dog. I wonder now why we didn't have a real guard dog when we lived in Port Moresby because we surely needed one there. Anyway from there we moved to Melbourne and somehow we became the guardians of a screwed up little dog called Blackie that terrified us so much we avoided going into the backyard to play. If we did venture outside it was a fast dash to climb the apple tree. I can only surmise now that the dog was not well trained, my parents had no clue or it was completely bonkers. That dog contributed greatly to my general level of anxiety during the Melbourne Years. I do not know what became of it.

Moving on, I am in Grade 2 and somehow we now have a cat and we live in Central NSW ie. the country. It is a BIG (to my mind) ginger tom cat. He may have had the original name of Ginger. Can't recall Ginger being cuddly or friendly. This cat came with us when we went to the Gold Coast, our next home. I do recall we did try to dress it and push it around in a pram. Not sure what happened to that cat either. Then in my 7 year old wisdom I bring home a pet mouse from school, name it Marvin and for some bizarre reason instead of being beaten senseless, I am allowed to keep it. My parents even buy him a special little box. If you knew my family this falls into one of the "unexplained " things that was "allowed" in a world where our Ruler did not allow much.

So Marvin moves to Brisbane with us not long after. We are in a rented house for 6 months and my parents aren't keen to have the landlady upset by the existence of a little mouse. So my mouse learns to undo the lock on his special mouse house. Clever Marvin always comes back until one day he doesn't. Only some years later did my mum admit to taking him for a long walk down the backyard several times only to discover that she needed to take him for a really really long walk to confuse him.

So we move into a new home and my sister brings home a kitten from school. Now you may be wondering what kind of schools were these that let kids bring mice and kittens to school to be taken home by random children without parental consent. I am wondering the same thing. They were just regular State run primary schools in relatively new estates. If Bear did that tomorrow I would be livid with somebody. The Ruler let the cat stay to. Granted that cat was pretty and sociable, and had my 9 year old brother not tormented it quite so much, she might have remained sweet. But for the life of me I can no longer recall that little white/tabby cat's name because she eventually became known only as Pooface. The most contrary cat on the planet. That cat lived for 17 years, her last years with me during which she barely gave me the time of day. But during the early years of Pooface's life another cat came to our home.

When he first turned up he was a wild looking thing....he had barely any fur on his body, smelt awful, had scars all over him and the cheeks on his face were swollen. That he boldly entered our home to eat from the dish of Princess Pooface was a shock to us all. Particularly Pooface. We gave him points for that. She didn't hide her displeasure but didn't raise a paw or claw. He was incredibly affectionate to us and had to be sitting on your foot if you were standing or in your lap if he could get there. But having a stinky dirty full grown male cat in the house that we kids called Fleabag did not thrill my parents despite the novelty of an affectionate cat. So he was taken to the vet and....neutered. You see, he wasn't picky in sharing his love and the Ruler of our world was as much taken by this as we were. The cat was Switzerland. So Fleabag healed, grew fat, his cheeks returned to normal size and he was rechristened Boo. My Grandmother called him the ugliest cat she had ever seen (she's not a pet person either !) but he was a cat with a HUGE personality. He followed us down the street like a dog. He talked. He would REPLY to you. He would sit on the butter if you weren't careful. He was our Garfield. He slept on me most nights. He was heavy and loud. You could hear him purr in the next room. Pooface learned to live with Boo. She always kept an aloof distance. When both cats were heavily sleeping we would arrange them close together just to see her reaction when she woke up.

The Ruler of our world got it into his head that we should have birds. Budgerigars. A small native Australian parrot that comes in a variety of colours and which we call Budgies. So on my 11th birthday I received a beautiful lilac coloured bird bred by a friend who had a large aviary. That bird never really learned to talk but he was allowed to chase the cats down the hallway, nibble at the newspaper and my earrings and eat toast. He was returned tis cage after an hour or two of indoor freedom each day. One day my mother forgot he was on her shoulder when she went out to water the garden. Although he was recaptured with a lettuce treat that first time, he tasted freedom again but at that time we moved to a larger house not far away. The new home owners reported sighting him often but they could not get close enough to catch him. In the new house the Ruler had a large "green room" built that was an outdoor living space where we had a dining area with a BBQ and loads of plants, ferns mostly. The shade cloth kept the outdoor area cool and free from mosquitoes. It was angled from the roof to the ground so that it enclosed the surrounding garden bed but allowed the rain in to water the plants. It was also a giant aviary.
And then in a short time we had 10 budgies living in that garden room. I will not ever keep a bird again. To try as a young teenager to save an egg bound bird is just heartbreaking. Over time they all succumbed to some sad end.. not all of which had to do with Pooface or Boo, but a couple sure went that way. It was hard to keep the cats out of that garden room, it opened directly into the house.

Finally came the long overdue divorce of my parents. There was an occasion burned into my darker memories of Boo launching himself at the Ruler of our world. A cat that was loyal and protective. A cat that eventually chose sides. Smart cat.

The cats came with us naturally. We didn't know exactly how old Boo was but he lived with us in total for about 8 or 9 years until one day he did not eat his dinner. And then he went outside and didn't come back. We knew he had gone. However Pooface rocked on and on and on...and my mother remarried and I ended up with that cat. My sister's cat. That cat would sit in the middle of our little street playing chicken. She would go out and deliberately sit in puddles. It got to the point where I told my housemates that if the cat insisted on sitting in the driveway they were not to feel bad if they hit her with the car (accidentally of course). She was becoming a problem with what seemed like a death wish. My housemates dutifully cared for that cat whilst I went overseas for a year and when I returned she was still there. An old but healthy, anti-social cat with a death wish. Then one day she didn't come home for dinner. RIP Pooface. 17 years old.

So by the time I met my future husband i had learned that cats have huge potential for affection and companionship, loyalty and also for complete indifference. I also learned that cats can live a long time. And to me a home needs a cat. I can't say much about dogs, I just never had one that meant anything to me.

This is turning out to be a far longer story of my pets than I first thought. And I'm still 2 cats and 6 countries away from Tinkerbell. I'll have to complete this Short History of my Pets in another post.

Blogging for Beginners

Yes I am a newbie to the blog world.... and I'm teaching myself as I go along. You can see that I have made some progress, a Flickr account with sets, blogging about photos from Flickr, designing a banner using free banner design. I'm trying to introduce myself around to the bloggers I have been reading with which I feel some shared experience, situation, interest or have inspired my creations.I hope you make it here..eventually! I do feel as though I am talking to myself which is adding to the sense that I am more than slightly unbalanced.
Cheers I'm not sure how to link to my blog or to post links within the content of my blog...but I will get there, I know I can. It doesn't look too polished and my writing is full of errors....but at least it's happening. So please bare/bear with me whilst I build my house here, furnish it in a style that is all my own. Each moment I can spare this winter I will devote to solving a blog puzzle. I am posting entries to my blog to perfect these new found skills. Presently I am sitting on the couch with Boo draping herself across my shoulders (she's 30lb of cuddle) and Yum Yum snuggled under pink blankie soothing herself by fiddling with the bunny's ribbons. They keep shoving their cold feet up my PJ top. Time to get off the couch and make something happen in the real world. Like lunch. "Ollie like lunch" (a hug if you know that line).

Valentine's Day 2010

Candy Candy Candy
A very sweet beginning to our lazy Sunday...just Mummy Boo and Yum Yum .
Bear and Daddy have left for the slopes up North. (I hope they will be OK, and that no one up there thinks they are in the Winter Olympics- it is after all a former Olympic venue ). Bear took her Flip so maybe we will see some action video but more likely really silly video.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Spongebob luvs ya!

Originally uploaded by bearbooandyumyum
Yadda yadd yadda comercial yadda yadda fake yadda yeh, same old same old , don't do it if you don't want to.
Here, If you are under the age of say, 12, you could care less that Hallmark, florists and the chocolate companies are competeing for the dollars of the guilty, the hopeful and the desperate. Like that other American super holiday Halloween, the context is important to appreciating the fun aspect of the celebration. If you were trapped indoors in an endless cold and grey world with little children, I'm willing to bet there's a good chance you will be making heart shaped sandwiches with the best of them. The thing is that here in the NE it makes an otherwise dreary month pass by with a little bit of colour and most importantly CANDY. Religous celebrations here are "difficult" but there is nothing religous about Valentines Day...unless you count the almighty ring of the cash register. So the schools here are free to embrace all the symbols of love in the name of friendship and it appears in the form of craft and treats. And glitter...lots of glitter. They have the kids construct something in which to collect their cards in (a mailbox, a bag) and they have a little lesson in mail.
Valentines Day comes a few days earlier when you are at school because the exchanges need to occur during the school week. The exchange of cards between 4 year olds who are clueless is funny. Stores here are full of cards designed to facilitate the giving of a Valentine to each of your classmates with an attached treat- candy, sticker or tattoo. They usually featuring a licenced character designed to appeal mostly to the giver rather than the recipient. So Boo and Yum Yum have messages of friendship from Spiderman, a Yellow Spiderman and a Green Spiderman (their interpretation- I think it was the Hulk ). Many messages from Spongebob and assorted Mattel and Disney megastars.There was even a Harley Davidson one. I wonder what the boys think of recieving a Barbie, Tinkerbell or Princess Tiana card. Do the other mothers of girls buy a different Valentine to give to boys? Since I didn't grow up with these types of Valentines I couldn't bring myself to buy these time saving kits. They whispered "lazy" and " wrong" to me. Since transplanting here I usually like to make the cards with Bear, but 5 years of hovering over her to write her name and assemble them...well it gets a little old and I couldn't muster the energy to be doing this with Boo and Yum Yum in PRESCHOOL. Unlike their gifted counterparts, they haven't yet learnt how to write their names. So I used a bunch of cute old fashioned Valentines I already had (bought on sale last year- pat on back), added a sticker and wrote in the cards myself. Job done in 15 minutes instead of 15 hours. There were a handful of homemade Valentines the girls recieved, well done to their mothers!

So this year I kind of dropped the ball... N&T recieved many more Valentines than we gave out... result of a slightly complicated set of circumstances wherein I did not get the memos. Lucky for me Boo and Yum Yum remain clueless that they committed any social faux pa. But all they know is that there was a lollipop fest at our house yesterday. And they are happy they have a lot of classmates.
I let Bear handle her Valentines Day on her own, she had wanted to distribute fortune cookies since it is also Chinese New Year but we didn't get to THAT particular store last week.
Here at home our Valentines Chinese New Year celebration is going to be a bit of a non event. The other parental unit (ie the guilty) has already made good on the roses and chocolate ( a 1 kg bar of English Cadbury thanks) but he is leaving tomorrow morning with Bear to ski/snowboard for several days. He returned late last night from a week long business trip. Boo and Yum Yum have been counting the sleeps until Daddy came home..and just one sleep later he'll be leaving again. There were tears shed and pitiful cries of "Daddy don't go away again" this morning over our pancakes. Ugh ...I'm being left to console the abandoned children. Hopefully chocolate will make us all feel better. Happy Valentines Day to all.

Monday, February 8, 2010

At Disney 2009

At Disney 2009
Originally uploaded by bearbooandyumyum
Introducing Bear ,Boo and Yum Yum...
I've been busy at Flickr setting up sets and uploading photos. Here my girls are visiting Tinkerbell (and friend Fawn) at Disneyland August 2009. We live on the East Coast of the US but must travel via LA on our annual home leave to Australia. This last trip we decided to stay few days and treat the girls to Disney. They had a blast and it was nice to totally focus on just the 5 of us having fun in the sun.

I have sets for each of the girls, for twin photos, the cat, for bits that I have made, and their birthday parties from last year... just to get started. I have many more photos that are on a separate hard drive and have not yet figured out how to upload them on my Macbook...but I'll get there eventually. Hope you enjoy looking at my 2009/2010 photos in the meantime. I would love to hear from anyone who actually finds this blog!


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

subjects for blogging....

What is it I want to share? What don't I want to share?

It's my life, my life as it is, as I would like it to be and as it has been.

I'll start by sharing my adventures in craft and hopefully in fine art.

A lifetime living a like a gypsy tends to shape a life and has its ups , its downs. I have been influenced by so many places and things. It is hard not to acknowledge them especially as it feels that from a creative perspective I may have wasted some incredible opportunities. I can at least say I drew an elephant from observation in Thailand! Better still I hired the elephant for that express purpose and had to pay rates set by the makers of "The Beach"- Elephants Actors Equity rates. However in my 5 years here in the US, despite having them at my back door for free, I have yet to draw a squirrel, or the snow, or my children! But my entire life I have been drawn to creative endeavours but I am not a free spirited type of person...and for a time I was trapped in a world of numbers and laws out of fear.

For a brief spell I was submerged into a creative world that suited my analytical approach. It was heaven and then life intervened. I wasn't able to pursue the opportunity offered and I became a mother. No regrets really just curiousity. And over time any discipline I once had was redirected to feeding, cleaning and clothing kids, getting them places, getting us places and trying to be organised. Now failing at some of this so this blog is also an excercise in "cleaning house", resetting priorities, finding new energy and committing.

So I have dabbled in making things, as much as motherhood and moving around the globe has allowed, satisfying my creative needs with retail therapy (oops) , making babyfood and sewing bits n pieces, doing craft with my kids. I have been learning to sew since dressing dolls with my mothers' fabric scraps whilst somebody important landed on the moon on the TV behind me. And for the last few years I have built me a "stash". And only 4 years ago I discovered there was a name for that pile of stuff I was hanging onto- a stash! Who knew LOL.

I won't share my cooking.. you don't need THAT let me assure you. Not everyone has to be a brilliant cook- I'm sure my family don't mind that I'm an OK cook. But it doesn't give me the same bang for my buck as would an hour of drawing! And then there's the dishes....

Being a parent, that is life defining.
I'll share my girls with you ...they are too much deliciousness for just me alone! Being the mother of twins I am fascinated with them, and with the blogs of mums who have twins too. All the more if they are girls around the same age as mine and their mums are creative, organised and talented types! I am not anal enough to self censor all my images and blog entries , you'll see their funny little faces, but I will try to stick to their nicknames only lest they suffer in the future for my follies. And I will admit upfront here, I had periods in my childhood that were just absolute crap. I get to give these children everything I didn't enjoy and more. Apart from that, I try not to let the past define my future. So here goes...