Monthly Archives: October 2016

Happy Halloween!

Just wishing you all a Happy Halloween, whatever the holiday means to you. It could be of religious significance to you, like the Mexican Dia de los Muertos, or it could just be an excuse to go Trick-or-Treating, or for having friends or relatives over for some quality time together. 

For me, it’s the celebration of the day my son Jack arrived on this Earth, 14 years ago. Happy Birthday, my not-so-little-anymore Jack-o-lantern! I’m so proud of what a great chap you’re turning out to be. ❤❤❤

Feel free to save and use the Halloween greeting card I’ve created, below. Send it to your friends, share it on your Pinterest board, print it out, etc. Enjoy!

Being broke but luckily still in posession of my old iPad 3, a simple factory setting reset later et voila! a “new” iPad for Jack to use in his new school and for his Art. That, and the 2016 Minecraft Annual magazine (better late than never lol), and Jack’s a happy bunny. 

Photos of Jack at his birthday dinner at the Hog’s Breath last night:

1 Day To Halloween

Tomorrow will be Halloween, but the only thing we’ll be celebrating is my son Jack’s 14th birthday. When he was younger, Jack would have the occasional birthday party with a few friends from school, but it soon became tedious when I realised that his little friends always expected his party to be Halloween-themed. Also, there was the tendency for the kids to expect presents, rather than give Jack presents.

So I stopped hosting Birthday + Halloween parties. I guess when Jack has his 18th birthday he can host a big Birthday + Halloween party himself, if he wants to. At least it won’t be as bad as being born on Christmas Day, where you get only 1 Birthday + Christmas present when you’re a kid, and then when you’re an adult you find yourself GIVING presents to other people on YOUR OWN Birthday. 

Anyway, here are the final 2 Halloweeny digital art images I created for the season, for your enjoyment.

Happy Halloween!

2 Days To Halloween

2 more days to go til Halloween. No, we don’t celebrate any holidays anymore in our household, religious or otherwise. In fact for Christmas this year we’re just stringing up some lights around the windows, bah humbug. 😄 

Anyway, here are 2 more Halloweeny images for you, that I created on my mobile device. Enjoy!

3 Days To Halloween

2 more spooky, Halloweeny images for you to enjoy today:

Halloween is not really celebrated here in Australia, unlike in America. Trick-or-treaters knocking on doors are still quite rare. Having said that, it has become a very popular seasonal retail opportunity for stores to, pardon the pun, make a killing. Morbidity, gore and black humour seem to appeal to many of the younger generation. With the recent spate of scary clown sightings not just in America but also here in Australia, sales should be right on target for retailers. Currently, Halloween merchandise jostle for shelf space with Christmas merchandise. 

I bet the retailers will breathe a sigh of relief when they can put away their Halloweeny stuff til next August, and start banging their drums about Christmas instead.

4 Days To Halloween

4 days to go, before Halloween. And here are 2 more images I created. Enjoy!

I remember as a child, there were always bats in the roof space of out house in Malaysia. They’d fly out in the evenings and go whirling about the place. I thought bats had cute dog-like faces, but was terrified of getting one tangled up in my hair. So whenever I spotted one flying about, I’d duck if it swooped near. I’ve only seen a bat up close once in real life, and their wings are simply amazing. 

5 Days to Halloween

5 days to go til Halloween. Here are 2 more images I created on my mobile device, enjoy!

The 31st of October also happens to be my son Jack’s birthday. He’ll be turning 14 this year. How time flies! I still remember how his due date was the 21st of October, but when he showed no sign of arriving, I was booked in to be induced on the 29th. But still he had other ideas, and it took a C-section to make my little Jack-o-Lantern appear on Halloween itself. 

Jack’s father and I had already decided on his name, even before he was born on the 31st of October. So it became even more apt that he should live up to expectations, by arriving right on time!

6 Days To Halloween

Here are 2 images that I created a while ago, when I still had my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (when it still worked properly). 

I created 12 images in total, and with there being 6 days left to go until Halloween/Samhain, I thought I’d share them here with you all, 2 per day.

Hope you like them! They were pretty easy to create, using background images that I’d created on my Note 4 by blending photos and effects/filters, and clip art from PicsArt.

I Have A Plan…

Found this quote online (Pinterest) and was struck by how aptly it describes my current situation. The more I think about it, the more I realise what a 2-way mirror Life is, that what I thought of as a consequence of previous Life experiences, is actually just me being a sitting duck waiting for something to happen. Maybe I was just nursing the wounds of my marriage breakdown and trying to understand why it has been impossible for me to gain mainstream employment, or indeed, any form of Social Security, or even help from my own parents.

I think I’ve wallowed in that rut for long enough now. It is Time to take matters into my own hands. I realise now nobody will be coming to my rescue. No knight in shining armour on horseback is going to sweep me off my feet. Fairytale endings are just fantasy.

It’s Time to practice what I preach – that in order for Change to happen, I need to Be the Change. 

I’m stuck here right now because I’ve limited my own thinking, creating my own victim mentality, unable to think of a way out of the situation, hoping for a miracle. Sure, if you have a job and money, it’s much easier to do the things you want to do, to take a risk…after all, you can fall back on the familiar if the Plan doesn’t pan out. 

But, if those choices are taken away from you, and you’ve tried again and again to get them back, to no avail, then suddenly the realisation hits home. And it is this: doing the same things over and over again, and expecting the results to be different, is tantamount to madness. 

Therefore, the only way left to go forward, is to do something completely different, totally unexpected. Yes, sure it’s a big risk to take…but what else do I have to lose? Instead, I have everything to gain.

So, instead of waiting for Change to happen, and wasting anymore Time in this Limbo, here’s what I’m going to do:

1. Have a good clear-out of all the stuff I don’t need or use anymore. De-clutter. Throw useless stuff away. Donate big or bulky items to the thrift shops. 

2. Put the rest up for sale on eBay and Etsy, or on Gumtree. Maybe do some car-boot sales or a garage sale. 

3. Put my handmade crafts up for sale on Etsy. Don’t get sentimental about keeping them – remember the reason I’m doing this is so I can get out of this rut. I can always make more Art another time, as I’ve already gained the Knowledge and Experience needed.

4. Save any money made from sales in a separate account. And Don’t Touch It. That’s my “Escape Fund”. I’ll need about $15k to be able to move house and rent elsewhere, and to live on while finding work. 

5. Apply for jobs outside Australia. Be prepared mentally and physically to move to any country, and promptly too. Therefore, it makes sense to de-clutter and whittle down my material possessions til only the essentials remain. The only things I really need with me are my son Jack, my dogs Shelagh and Scruffy, my collection of books and Arts & Craft materials.

6. Embrace Change. Be Brave. 

I think it’s a Good Plan. Starting right now. 

Freebies : Kantha close-ups

I’m gifting my 3rd Kantha scarf (see previous post) to a dear friend in Ireland. I won’t have the physical scarf anymore, but I did take a number of photos and close-ups of it hanging from my orange tree, for posterity, so I’ll always have the memory of that.

So here today I’m sharing these photos with you all, my dear readers. They are FREEBIES, meaning if you want to save them to your computers or mobile devices, use them as computer wallpaper, turn them into cards, use them as backgrounds for image editing, print them out for your own pleasure…you have my blessings. 🙇

This girl can’t sew in a straight line, as you can see. But the wonky stitches and exposed knots sure add to the charm of it being all handmade, right 😄. Worthy of a Crafts stall or Etsy…

My 3rd “Kantha” Scarf

This is my 3rd handsewn “Kantha” scarf, made with the ethos of recycling/repurposing/make do and mend in mind. The backing fabric is actually a thrifted pillowcase, opened up. The fabric patches are remnants from past projects. The only new things used are the bright red pompoms (my first time sewing pompoms onto anything!) and the embroidery thread, from my local Spotlight haberdashery store.

I love the idea of giving new life to old fabrics and finding new purposes for old objects. People throw away things too easily nowadays, even perfectly good items that our forebears would’ve kept using til they fell to bits…and then they would’ve just stitched them together to other cloths and created something useful, and that “new” item would’ve lasted a good many years beyond that. 

My Maternal Grandmother and my own Mother are good examples of the above practice. Grandma would turn old rice gunny sacks into useful tote bags. She made flowers out of colourful shopping bags. She sewed my cousin’s swimming medal ribbons into a bag. She made rag rugs, patchwork quilts, she painted landscapes on planed pieces of timber, she knitted jumpers and hats out of raffia string. 

My Mother was never as artistically inclined as Grandma, but she still wears clothes that are over 25 years old – I know because I bought some of them for her. She still has a set of Hello Kitty hair clips that I remember her buying when I was not even a teenager. Up until a few years ago, she kept my old collection of soft toys, one being a Merrythought Spaniel dog that I had in England, back in 1973! 

Anyway, this scarf is destined for Ireland, to a dear friend and a rekindled friendship. I hope it keeps her warm in the freezing Irish Winter months.