Welcome to my world behind the scenes as I attempt to run a business with no idea what I am doing. I Love comments/ advice/opinions or just a quick G'day so please talk to me. I adore hearing/learning/chatting with you all so every comment is most welcome.!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Greetings and Salutations


Well, it's new Years Eve and I am a little bit a lot sloshed. Usually I only drink on Christmas eve(once a year for you people who don't know how many Christmas eves there are, clearly you have had more than me to drink *hic*) but this cowboy drink for 14.99 is just the best thing since double choc coated Tim Tams so I decided to make my alcoholic bingeing a twice yearly event.
How is every one else holding up? Merrily I hope, whether it be with an ale in your hand or the hand of some one you adore.
Now what about those nasty New years resolutions eh? Well, I did them last year as pictured here.

Most were done but to be honest it was the easy stuff. I had a goal for myself to lose 20 kilos and I put on 8...... I wanted to paint the house but change my mind on colours so much it was too cold to do it.
Some one jokingly put a note saying "send Zack to a monastery" and he ended up in a remote town living with a bunch of guys..... *note to self* dont joke about goal stuff. As heart breaking as that was, another goal posted on the board simply said "peace" and funnily enough when Zack moved to the "monastery" this was achieved. Hard for a mum who loves her kids more than power tools to say but true. Another backwards resolution was " earn more money" . Ok so we did that, but we also owed more, what's up with that??? Oh and last but not least, my daughter wanted to pass year 10, which she did, with awards and all, then she quit...
Resolutions have too many grey areas and if they are not defined thoroughly , we as people will do anything to find loop holes to get out of them. I'm not dressing it up like some new age namby pambian, we FAIL.
So, with that in mind. I'm not doing a New years resolution. I am doing LAST YEARS resolutions and it is simply "achieve this year what you failed at last year"
And it starts today. not next year.
Anyhow, I will raise my glass which is now empty and wish ya'll the best for 2009.
Cheers Big Ears!! (of course you dont have big ears silly, its just my fav toast my brother does)

It will be a catching up on blogs day tomorrow. I am excited to be back on deck. Yep even excited about working again. I have been most creative. Nothing I have touched since my break has had anything to do with work. I feel invigorated.
Cant wait to dive back into the blogasphere( um how does one spell that word?)
See Ya tomorrow.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas

I will be having a blogging and work break from 19th December until the 1st of January.
I have been looking forward to the 19th for such a long time and now it is here hasn't hit me.
I will be using this time to give all of my attention to my family, getting out in the garden more and reflecting on what I have learnt, achieved and failed at
in 2008 and what I expect from myself in 2009.
I wish each and every one of you, the lurkers, the regulars and the passers by a Happy and safe Christmas filled with joy and all things that make you smile.
I look forward to catching up on all of your blogs in the new year.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I thought I had lost my friend

I mean seriously, where can an 84 year old that requires a scooter get to late in the afternoon? I started to panic when no one answered the door so I went to the main house to see what had happened to her and there she was, beaming from ear to ear, sitting on the couch holding her 1 day old Great Grandson.
I know she doesnt read blogs but I am marking this day for myself. The day my friend became a great grandmother for the 3rd time. Thats pretty wow!

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Trying new crafts

I dont fuss much over my wares being rejected by people who dont think it is thier taste in a shop but I am terrified of giving people a gift that I have made and wondering if they hate it to pieces and wont even use it but are telling me furfies about loving it.

Well, I am no beader. I can barely string a coherant sentence let alone a color co-ordinated string of beads. But Pam, who I am very very very fond of, gave me these and said she bought them and then didnt like them so I could use them.

I said I would try making her something out of the black and silver bits which she liked. Well here it is. Is it any better? Will she laugh at it? If I was putting it in a shop I wouldnt care because Im not around to hear people criticize me but I wanted my friend to like it, a lot.

Spotlight at Fountain Gate have a table of beads for $1 a bag so I grabbed 5 and used some to add a little colour to Pams gift. Looks like I have 100s left over!

Bargain!

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Impossible Pie

This is a one pan meal recipe given to me by Pam from the craft shop in August 07 and I reckon I have used it way over 10 times already.
Delicious hot or cold

IMPOSSIBLE PIE - Pams Version
Ingredients
4 Eggs
1 1/2 cup of milk
3/4 cup of pastry mix
1 cup of bacon diced
1 cup of grated cheese
1 cup of grated onion

Directions
Mix together eggs, pastry mix and milk
Add everything thing else
Mix thoroughly
pour into a 20 x 20 lasagna dish
Bake in moderate oven for 30 - 40 mins until golden or until knife comes out clean.
Optional extras- I also add a grated zucchini and a grated carrot.
Pam likes spring onions instead of Onions
No meat is necessary or you can put cut up sausages to make a variation of Toad in the Hole (Another family favourite)

Yummo!

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Insomnia

Its 1 am and I am obsessing over the state of my messy blog. Links lost, widgets missing and heaven forbid I should place something in the wrong order. Its not my blog keeping me awake though. Its the anticipation of my son coming home for Christmas and the fear of being a massive baby once again once he leaves again. This is a little heartfelt I know for a blog and from someone like me who would rather laugh at old episodes of Auntie Jack with paper cut out teeth strapped to a cat but I think it inappropriate to call some one at 1am and I don't have any sleeping pills. Could some one email me some?? joke of course. Anyhow. 2 more sleeps and insomnia wont matter. Its school holidays and I have never looked forward to them so much. I'm going to sleep in till 9 am whenever I feel like it. Hear that kids.... I'm not your mother til after 9 am. hmmmph well of course they cant hear me, its 1am and they re asleep.
nite nite bloggers.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nervously Poking around things I should probably leave alone

Ok I was just saying that I hope to see you all on the other side of me tinkering with xml thingy whatsits and then I get ERROR "you clicked too much" Way to scare me Mr Blogger. Hope this works. I want 3 columns and I want them now!

later : omg I did it. 3 columns!!! Now I must redecorate. It was so easy I cant believe I carried on like a pork chop and put it off for so long.

Later later: I am alot tired so I will have to fix it tomorrow. Now I feel like you do when your house is a mess and people come around. *yawn*

oh an before I shuffle off, Thanks curlypops for dropping in to help me out. Any help is always appreciated:)


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Reasons to shop at a real shop for Christmas

Well, here is the other half of my ponderings. It has been a busy few weeks and I have noticed on my blogroll that I am not the only one with less time available to blog.

This list is in relation to a post I did the other day which you can find here regarding my list of reasons for shopping online. Today I am faced with actually going to the shops physically so I thought I would list my ponderings on the good side of this too. I wonder what kind of shopper you are? Online or In Person or both? I think there is good and bad in both dont you?

Well here are my thoughts anyhow.

1.Real live human contact
2.Easy and faster return of goods to the store of purchase
3.The energy that is given off by a large crowd on a mission is exhilarating to some.
4.Customer service- you can demand as much or as little as you want and don't have to wait for email replies
5.You can demand better customer service on the spot
6.Instant gratification - we all love that:)
7.If you wait until the last minute you can get great deals on items.
8. No postage delays
9. No risk of item arriving in post damaged and then being unable to have it replaced in time.
10. Less risk of item not being as described.
11. Exercise. I wore my pedometer once and clocked up 17000 steps in one trip at Westfield Fountain Gate.
12. The Christmas Spirit can be quite evident in some stores which makes a lasting impression when you experience it in person. This is the feeling you would definately get at the craft shop where I worked.


lets see how I feel in about 4 hours time lol

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Grade 6 Graduation 2008

Is it just me or are the girls looking more elegant now? I am unable to show pictures because you are not allowed to take pics of school kids but I was so impressed with how beautiful these grade 6 girls looked. One young lady was wearing something I would have expected to have seen on Audrey Hepburn. Some of the boys wore tuxedos, wow.
So there goes my 3rd child, off to high school. Well done Dallas John!
Congratulations to all the kids this week that are enjoying their last few days of Primary School and brace yourself mums for the teenage years we are about to endure:)

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Its all good now

Thank you !

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Mission Accomplished :)



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15 Evironmentally and Consumer friendly reasons to do Christmas shopping Online

1. Conserve fuel - It wont last forever you know and the posty was coming your way anyway.

2. Reduce Pollution. I don't know if you are aware of this or not but CARS POLLUTE the environment... OK so I am being facetious there.

3. Reduce packaging from the seller - Many online sellers recycle packaging, particularly craftsers and the like.

4. Reduce packaging as a seller or sender of gifts - Whether it is used once or repeatedly, reuse packaging that you have received with your parcels.

5. For example - Aussie Post Cardboard boxes. As long as you remove or cover any previous information you can re use it. And what about that bubble wrap, come on guys, that stuff has a lot more life in it than one trip in the post.

6. Reduce the risk of Car Park rage. - oh don't you scoff at that one. I have seen perfectly rational women waving clenched fists and threatening all kinds of abuse over a stupid car park slot.
7. Reduce wear and tear on your car, tyres, shoes and nerves

8. Reduce your carbohydrate intake - seriously, how much crap do you consume when you go to the shops if you haven't prepared in advance for when hunger pangs start

9.Reduce foot pain - tell me your feet don't hurt after trekking around distances that surpass a small hiking trip in shoes designed for mannequins

10.Save money - there are some absolute bargains online and you can compare prices quicker and with less effort at now cost before you make the final purchase.

11.Reduce impulse shopping - Impulse shopping and then experiencing cognitive dissonance later on.

12.There is no reason many bricks and mortar shops cant offer online options to buying their products so don't feel bad for them, they are behind the times.

13.Online shopping gives you more variety

14.You can do it in your lunch break or while your boss isn't looking ( I take no responsibility if you get caught - shame on you) Also, try not to get mayo on the keyboard..yucky

15.With all of that time, money and the environment you have saved, take a walk and smell the Ozone while you wait for the posty. Even better if you live in the Northern Hemisphere where it is freezing or even snowing. Stay in by the fire and let the postman freeze his butt off.

Most important of all, whether its online or in a shop, enjoy yourself and
Have a Merry Christmas
Disclaimer: These are based on my opinions only and because I know that I am not really the ruler of the world even though it quite clearly says that on my business description, I totally understand that you may have different opinions or information in your world.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

So you thought you could get out of Christmas?

Not Bloody Likely!!
Next year I am buying a fake tree and decorating it and storing it fully decorated.

K Santa, when you pass by my house fill my bag with important things that I need please. Motivation
Good Health
A miraculous loss of 40 pounds
Endless energy
Laser beam focusing skills
and NEW TEETH


OK ?. I put it right near the door so you cant miss it.... Don't let me down, I have been very very good this year, well um except for the
lack of motivation, too much chocolate, refusing to exercise and staying up way past my bedtime.
Santa doesn't need to know that thought right?
I have 12 days left to be good so that Santa gives me what I want for Christmas...

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Online Christmas Shopping


I am one of the millions that embraced Online shopping years ago and I get looks of horror from some of the dearies where I work because to them it is a well known fact that the Internets are evil and people will rob your bank account every time you enter personal information like your pets name. But still I persist, even knowing these horrors and I am appreciative of their genuine concern for my new fangled habits.

I cannot, however, imagine anything more fun than parcels arriving from all over the world containing items that were half the price even with postage or so different that you know your gift will surely amaze.


If not for online shopping I could not have bought My US husband a Miami Dolphins T shirt which not only made him feel extra special but made me look like the best wife on earth. That gift guaranteed me many coffees over the holiday season, not that I had that agenda when I gave it to him but what the hey, I'm not going to pass up weeks of coffee's being made for me by a grateful husband.

It also adds to the excitement. Kids or spouses see the parcels and ponder over its contents "is that for me?", "wow, who is getting something from Yekaterinberg?

Most of us that are old pro's at online shopping are aware of the shortfalls, however, I thought I would make a list of things that I take into consideration before hitting that ACCEPT button just in case someone passed by my blog and had been pondering this very subject.

These are tips for shopping online just from my own experience. This is my own version of lists that I tick, not based on any advice from experts so it is up to your judgement to decide whether these tips are of any use to you. I have provided links for you to browse through at the bottom.

1. Always leave enough time for the goods to arrive in time if they are for a specific date.

2. Watch the postage costs. Sometimes it just isn't worth it.

3. Do some research on the company you are buying from. It doesn't take long and its a lot less effort than driving to a store.

4. Be wary of companies that don't offer a Contact Us page with a phone number or address. Even online business's operate from somewhere

5. Read the fine print. What kind of warranty or guarantee comes with this product and if it does break how hard will it be to return it to its place of origin, bearing in mind a lot of people will make you pay postage for returns initially.

6. If something goes awry, contact your bank or credit card people as soon as possible and let them know. We had a very large company stuff us around and Amex got onto them as soon as we had given reasonable time for the company to comply and our money was refunded. This is just an example of a personal experience and was not based on any expert knowledge of what to do on my behalf.

7. Always ensure you are dealing through a secure website. Look for the padlock symbol at the end of the URL line when you are at any page where you are giving credit card or bank details.

So these are the 7 things that I have noted that I do written up in a very informal list just for you to get an idea. For some really in depth and more precise information try these links.

ACCC ( the big guns)
Consumer Affairs Australia
Consumer Direct - Good user friendly information
What does the Padlock or HTTPS Symbol mean on my Browser?
I tried finding a good link to BBB guidelines but could not find one and with my fishbowl attention span I gave up when I was 4 pages into their site. Boring. Come on BBB, I have shopping to do, I cant be clicking through your site all day.

The Aussie and the UK ones give great information and places like that are there to assist you should you have exhausted all avenues when an issue with a company does arise.

Just remember, and I don't need any kind of education or expertise to tell you this, but
an online shop is just a shop that is online. Expect everything from an online shop that you expect from The Prancing Pink Pig Emporium bricks and mortar store.
Happy Shopping, whether its online or "in real life"...enjoy!!
And beware those Internets!


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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Op shop love

I went looking for a round mirror to add to my wall of round mirrors and found these darling little Servex Oven dishes. So light, so delicate and so little even though they look big in the photo.

50 cents each. Yay me!!

2 more weeks until I am no longer working at the craft shop which is right near my fave op shop. My traditional Thursday thrift shopping day is soon coming to an end.



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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

Since Sunday it sits there, taunting me, pleading me and inviting me to decorate it.

But I cant be bother. I wonder if I just got struck off the nice girl list for saying that out loud. I hope Santa doesn't blog.

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Vintage Key Tree


Work in progress

with 61 vintage keys, a dead snowball tree that didnt make it through the drought, a cracked vase and numerous rocks and shells handed to me by my children over the last 17 years, the Vintage key tree adorns a corner table casting shadows from candles lit below and moving mysteriously to some unseen breeze.


I cannot take a picture that isnt ruined by the flash and the sun refuses to shine and I cannot wait to repaint my walls white this summer.

As you will note, it isnt finished. Threads still dangle, the candles are long burnt out and its certainly not a picture worthy of note but thats OK because I know with you guys I dont need to put on a show when I do show and tell. Just wanted to share my tree with you:) I have seen a sequined butterfly wire thingy in the garden centre around here that I have to have to put on a branch.

The origin of the keys (in answer to your question Aisha)

I did not know their owner but they belonged to a man that horded things like myself and when he died his wife loaded everything from his shed up in the trailer and donated it to our woodworking club. I bought them for $5.00, a box of vintage locks with the working keys attached and an awl with a basic hand turned handle that he may very well have turned at the club. I sat and pondered that day at morning smoko about what happens with our collections when our kids or family see them all as junk and I was grateful that this lady thought to give it away to someone who would find it as treasure. One day my collections of tools, bits and bobs will end up in a trailer but that's OK, as long as they end up somewhere and not in landfill.

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Vintage Key Tree

The pictures I take tend to ruin the ambience and the clarity of the warm light and the play of shadows. The keys move mysteriously all on there own which is mesmerizing. All 61 of them. The vase is filled with items collected by my children from beaches, footpaths and various other places. If they saw it as beautiful enough to present to me(yes, even gravel) well I saw it as a gift and can never part with it. Still a work in progress and a pleasant distraction from the ever nagging need to decorate the christmas tree.




Here is the tree.

Naked

Im not big on christmas. To me, and I know people will gasp in horror, its all about the presents. Giving and receiving. People just dont say it out loud. That is all it represents to me and this tree is a symbol of something we place the presents under. I dont care for family gatherings, dressing up, driving on roads with drunks in abundance and I can bet there are more people like me( except for the shallow all about the presents thing) than there are who love the whole christmas thing. Religious people not included, I cant speak on behalf of them, Im talking about the 1000s of Aussies who dont even know who that Jesus bloke is and who just see christmas as one more yearly expense like registration.

Many a son or daughter will drag themselves to a xmas dinner and not be thankful for the xmas roast but for when the clock strikes a suitable and appropriate time to leave. Im in it totally for the Boxing day bargains.

So I will take my merry little self off and force myself to get in the mood to mess my house up with gawdy green and red.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Vintage Keys. Trying to unlock my inspiration.

To you, these may seem dirty, old and useless. To me, I see a lamp shade, window dressing or a wind chime. The sound that the keys make is simply beautiful. I threw the glass beads in with them one day and instantly thought of light reflecting through the keys and crystals to create patterns. How to get the patterns, light and sound all together is the conundrum.
I cant wait to make up my mind which. I think I am having more fun mulling over the possibilities

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Pink and Brown. Never a frown

I posted the last of this fortnights eBay items today. Funny how the universe works. One minute I am reflecting on the standing stillness of my business and the next minute I haven't had time to sit for a week.
eBay is a very iffy venture. I made very little on items this week that I may have made a lot on last week. It is a fickle market. I should know, I am part of that market that other eBayers depend upon to bid.
So with my package posted, and a quick hello in passing to 3 people I knew that had errands in town also, then I was off to scrounge for supplies. I wonder how all of you hand makers or buyers of handmade are going this year. I intend to surpass my efforts last year in that front.

I scored some of the most luxurious fabric from the Curtain and Drapes store scrap bin for $2.00.

I pondered as I took this photo. The colours of these fabrics reflect my colour scheme at home.
Can you remember all of your colour scheme changes as you got older? I can.
First was the eclectic hand me downs that didn't match one bit. (things people pay big money for now from the 70s lol)
Early 20's everything was Black.
mid 20's pink....too bad I had my house build when I went through this phase, 30's I went green & pink and now my 40s, Brown and a tiny splash of very pale Pink.
I wonder if this colour pattern that I am seeing is a reflection of my tastes changing or myself just becoming B O R I N G ! Argh.....

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