Monday, 31 December 2012

2013, the year of ...

Remember the lovely Maxabella's One Word for the Year, way back at the beginning of 2012?

Mine was thrive.

I think there was a bit of thriving.  Certainly as far as my health goes, I am a lot healthier now than I was at the beginning of the year.  And my relationship with MR stayed nice and strong but I don't know if I could apply the word thrive to it...

As far as the other stuff goes though - the garden, the house, my life.  Well, the fruit trees thrived.  Until a storm came and broke two branches off my beloved apricot tree.  It still is growing so that's the main thing but now it is very much up and not very much out.  The lawn is thriving away happily after we got it verdimowed a few months ago and having it so beautiful and green and unblemished at this hot dry time of the year when it is usually looking a bit brown and a bit patchy here and there is very lovely.  I'd show you some photos of the before, during and after but I can't find where I put my camera (yes, yes I know...)  The rest of the garden, not so much.  Still very much a work in progress.  And the house?  Well, apart from the beginnings of a study area there hasn't been much progress happening in there either.  And as to my life?  Well, going back to work was good, but really - it took me a bit of time to get there, much longer than I thought it would. Having my own class again next year will be nice though.  Apart from that, just general recovery stuff but nothing particularly stands out in achievements and thriving-type-business. 

So rather than being disappointed about last year's effort, I'll instead give myself a new word for this year, one of more measurable conquest I think (although I suspect this may set me up for greater failure).

I have run through a few words... create  -  do  -  achieve

I sat for a while trying to think of one word to describe the act of following through before resorting to the thesaurus.  Oh right - finish, complete.  No wonder I couldn't think of the right word, those things are foreign to me.  

And then I sat back and thought about what I really want to achieve.  Yes, I want to create more stuff.  Yes, I want to do more stuff.  Yes, I want to achieve more stuff.  Yes, I really, really, really want to follow through and complete stuff.  But really, want I want (and need) to do, which will encompass all of those things is ORGANISE.

You see, I am terribly unorganised. And I am even worse at FINISHING stuff.  So there are things all over the house in various states of unfinishedness.  I get all excited about a project but the execution of said project becomes too hard basket or not quite how I pictured or else sheer laziness comes into play.

So this year I am going to work at being organised.  It will be hard.  As I mentioned above, there is lots of opportunity for great big whopping amounts of failure because I have yet to have an organised bone in my body in all of my 31 years.  To help me along, I need to outline some specific organisational goals to go alongside the general goal of becoming a more organised person.

- organise the craft room :: I'm seriously tempted to hire some decluttering organisation expert to come and make this beautiful for me.  Is that cheating?  Everytime I try to organise this room I never get beyond getting it a quarter organised (with the help of my very organised sister) before it all turns to shit again.  This is the bane of my household, and MR runs to close the door at the first sign of visitors. For that matter, so do I.

- organise my classroom :: I don't want to have the stress of an unorganised classroom this year.  I am really good at the whole organising lessons and keeping kids work organised but my own stuff?  This year I'd like to be all organised so that if I do fall sick and have to have some time off, the person coming in to replace me can find everything and know where all the kids are up to with ease.

- organise myself :: specifically, some form of regular exercise.  I was good for a few months at the beginning of 2012 but then I got slack.  No more excuses!

- organise my home office and filing system (which is currently non existant) :: no need to say more.

- organise the finances :: So we can go on a holiday over east as well as do a couple of (small or not so small) renovations we want to do to the house and garden.  We finally got a bit of a savings account going in the second half of 2012 so hopefully this will stay on track!

- organise all the unfinished projects into boxes and then work my way through them :: or get rid of them, pull them apart, whatever it takes!

Any other organisational type things will just be an added bonus.

I also aim to...

- submit my picture book manuscript 
- write more often
- do the 5km Run for a Reason (at a quicker speed that 50mins) and raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation
- completely pay off my credit card (at least once)
- go on a holiday on a plane (I don't care where to, just out of WA)

I got 4 out of 10 of my goals and resolutions for 2012, let's see if I can get get a better result for 2013.

Do you have some aims/goals/resolutions/a word for the year?  Big or small, I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Pinterest is an enabler.

It really is.

It's like a having six demanding small children in regards to the levels of multitasking skills necessary.

And like giving coffee to an insomniac.  At 2am.

Here I am having a computer day (because it's too hot to do anything else productive (even though it is now well into the night/early morning and not hot at all)), setting up my new blog and TPT store (more on this soon), purchasing clipart to create things to sell, creating about three different teaching packages for me to use (and hopefully sell) all at once until I get to the point where I need a particular picture to complete it and then heading off to search for more clipart to buy on etsy.

And then along comes a great idea so I pin it to pinterest.  And then I have a quick look and see six other things I want to make/find out more about so off I go to to get started on all of those. 

I've also got two half written blog posts on the go, not including this one, a picture I'm editing in ribbet for one of the blog posts, three different finder windows open as I sort through my new clipart purchases as they are emailed to me and file them accordingly, font book open to look at the new font package I just purchased, a word document and a powerpoint document, plus what feels like 37 tabs in firefox (but is probably more like 15) on the go.

And then I find another great idea on a blog I am flicking through, pin in and the cycle starts again.

It could go on for days if I didn't need to sleep.  (Sometime soon...  ish.)

I'm sure this is not just me...  right?!


Saturday, 29 December 2012

Getting ready for 2013

Continuing along with my current theme of I'm ready for this year to be over, I bought a nice calendar for next year to put on the wall.  Normally I go to the shopping centre and choose a pretty one from one of the numerous stands in the middle of the malls, usually one with photos of trees or waterfalls.  I never write on them though and often forget to change the month until it's already a week (or more) into it.  I really just use it to look at the date when I'm on my mobile planning something and can't use my iphone calendar.

So I thought this year I might go a pretty design on page style calendar.  I did have a look at the teatowel calendar designs on spoonflower but none grabbed me enough to buy one so then I turned to etsy.  And ended up with this one from once upon a paper.
Isn't it lovely?  The water colour dot on each month is the date of the full moon.  I figure that once the year is over, I can trim the calendar part off and have a lovely new piece of artwork too.

Next on the list is a diary.  I'm quite particular in what I want from a diary and I haven't found one that perfectly suits me yet.  Each year I try a different type.  This year I'm going to try this one from Delfonics.  I've just ordered it from Notemaker.

It's a weekly one (which I like because it's not too heavy like daily ones) with the week on one side and a lined page on the other for notes, similar to the moleskine style I think.  This one though has monthly views at the front of the diary which I don't think the moleskine ones do (I was originally looking at them).  I googled what the german writing means and it (apparently) says A story, a life.  And the small writing under that says a quote which means "For the lucky, the clock does not strike." which is apparently similar to our quote of "Time flies when you're having fun."

Do you have a diary that you like to get the same format of each year?  Or are you still hunting for that elusive perfect one like me?

Looking back : 2012 [ups and downs]

I did a post of this title last year and it was good to go back and read it at times so I thought I'd continue the tradition.

Come Boxing Day, I am all ready for the year to be over and move onto the next one.  I start to get all antsy, reflective-y and planning-ish.  There's a bit of endofyear-itis and a chunk of limbo type feelings and I just want to to be over already. 

Maybe that won't be the case when I have my year.  You know, that elusive year where when you look back everything has (or at least most things have) gone your way and lots of good stuff has happened?  2011 was supposed to be that year.  The move to Perth, move in with the boy in our own house and starting a dream job all sounded like the ingredients for my year.  And then when my body decided to fall apart on me I had no delusions that 2012 was going to be my year.  But I am going to quietly live in hope that 2013 might be.  Very quietly.

Before I get on with the year in review, I've copied my resolutions and goals that I set for this year to see how well shockingly I did.

:: to do my tax on time this year. :: only one month late, we'll call that on time because it's the closest it's ever been!
:: to do a writing course in plot/character/setting development and submit my picture book manuscript to publishing houses :: writing course achieved in character but not the other two.  Wrote a letter for submission of my manuscript but never quite got to sending it.

:: to be open to new opportunities :: not sure what I was thinking of here, I'm usually fairly open to new opportunities but I can't think of anything particularly new that was accepted or turned down
:: to raise money for The Leukaemia Foundation and the Liver Transplant Unit of SCGH :: decided to alternate years on these charities, people only have so much money.  Raised $1700 for Transplant Australia.
:: to somehow become a more tidy and organised person, particularly in organising the final rooms of our home :: major fail!

:: to exercise at least twice a week (for at least 80% of the year) :: I think I managed this for about 3 months of the year.  Not quite 80%...
:: to recycle more :: fairly good, but I'm sure I can achieve even more next year
:: to at least halve my credit card debt :: actually I'm quite proud of achieving this when I wasn't working for seven months of the year!
:: to join a writer's group and attend regularly :: nope!
:: to do up a joint budget so we can save money and do some renovations to/buy furniture for our home :: no such joint budget, MR is quite against a budget currently due to its adult-like-implications and seeing as I didn't set one up for myself until I was 26 and he is still only 25 I am only making occasional suggestions here.  We did manage a joint savings account though which has been used for a couple of small things so far and hopefully much more next year!

Not too bad actually.  Cutting that credit card debt in half is worth two surely!  Money is something I am not at all good at.

So, to the year that was....

I was battling with an unknown origin cough and breathlessness that had been hanging around for a couple of months in January so I didn't get up to a great deal.  I did however go to the Roxette concert with my sister and had a great time singing along to old songs.  My liver turned three months old and I managed to finish off my first granny blanket which now adorns my sister's couch after gifting it to her as a housewarming present.

February saw me receive the lovely present of a bronchoscopy for Valentine's Day and a ten day stay in hospital when it was discovered I was growing mushrooms fungi in my lungs.  Charming.  Reason for cough and breathlessness discovered, at least...

Yet another hospital stay this month, this time only three days because I had my one year late housewarming party to get ready for and I told the doctors from the get-go there was no way they could have me for longer than that.  This stay was because the fungicides antifungal medication they put me on made my kidneys cross. I got out though and my housewarming party went well and was a very casual and laid back bbq affair.

There was a bit of gardening action this month with the planting of our nectarine and white peach trees.  Looking back at the blog I also did a fair bit of crafting and apparently a bit of exercise, well done me!  MR and I had our 5 year anniversary and my liver turned six months old.

Biggest thing of this month was doing the Run for Reason (at a walk) and raising $1700 for Transplant Australia.  4kms in 50 minutes, not too bad for a girl who went straight from the event to the hospital to have her 16th day straight of blood tests due to medication issues.  

Not much of note apart from some more crafting.  I was quite proud of this present for MR's Mum's 60th 

My liver turned nine months old and I started back at work at the end of the month.

I turned 31 and didn't care.  MR and I went on a holiday to Dunsborough and had a lovely time.  My sister and I went to the Hilltop Hoods concert and it was awesome.  I made a one task a day organise your home calendar which I haven't followed very much since...
found at virtu

Nothing of note

MR turned 25, what an oldie!
My liver turned 1 year old and I celebrated with high tea with friends (MR was away at work) and family and had a lovely rainbow cake to celebrate (just looked back and realised I never posted about my high tea party on here, woops!)
my cake!
I got it made for me and I was a little bit bummed that the
rainbow was out of order..
My present from my sister, a liver softie!!

My best friend got married down south and it was an amazing day.  I found out I'd be moving to a new school and was pleased about deciding to have my own class of kindy kids again, working three days a week next year.

Christmas out in the bush with MR's family with my family do's before and after the official day. 

How did you year pan out?  Was it your year?? 


Thursday, 27 December 2012

Playing catch up

I've been a bit slack on the old blog of late, instagram however has been getting lots of love.  So let's play catch up on my life through phone photos...
My apricot tree that used to look like this on the right...

now looks like this after a storm last month :(
My very awesome Dala horse Christmas ornie from Kylie at Paravent Designs

One of my contributions to the Christmas ornie swap, forgot to photograph my
other one which was some red crochet snowflakes

My birthday present from Dad this year, a Christmas Lego scene!

My new handmade Christmas wall decoration being mounted, cross stitch Christmas woodland critters

And up on the wall

Gooseberry crop!

My Christmas present to MR, two bonsai fig trees (our first bonsai)

His present to me, two ceramic bedside lamps for our bedroom

Very spoilt by Sally, a new embroidery book

 I was a bit remiss on Christmas day, didn't take a single photo! MR and I spent it out in the bush with his family before driving back Christmas night so I could drop him at the airport at 5am on Boxing Day to head back to work.  We had a lovely day catching up with extended family we don't see very often and eating plenty of yummy food.  Somehow I managed to not overeat, we'll put that down to the sweltering 39 degree weather.  As to my side of the family, we don't really do extended family things so we had lunch with Dad and my sister on the 23rd and my sister and I are doing a high tea Christmas meal with Mum tomorrow evening.

The weather is fairly dreadful here at the moment - forecast for 39-41 all week in fact!  Thankfully I realised it's late night shopping tonight so I'll head out in a couple of hours once it has cooled down a tad to pick up a bit of food and have a quick look at some of the sales.

Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you had a happy and safe one with plenty of yummies on your table.  x

48, 49, 50!

This year I set myself the goal of reading 50 books.  I reached 50 today!  Here they are in reverse order beginning with most recently read.

I kept track of it all on Goodreads.  Do you use it?  You can find me here if you do!  As you can see, I'm very much a fantasy sort of girl with an occasional divert from that genre in place.

Standouts would be...
A Discovery of Witches / Shadow of Night - Deborah Harkness
Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton
The Black Jewels series - Anne Bishop
Cleo: how an uppity cat helped heal a family - Helen Brown (but only if you're ready for a tearjerker)

Are you much of a reader? Do you keep track of how many books you have read?  This is the first year I have done it.

I'm getting ready to start my book list for 2013 so title suggestions are welcome! 


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Planning ahead

I've been a bit slack on the blogging front lately, the mood just hasn't been hitting.  It's not through lack of stuff to post about, just a general slump.  I've been having quite a bit of computer free time actually, well, until I found out that next year I will have my own Kindy class back at my new school to be and since then I've been going great guns in planning mode.  I'm quite excited about having my own class again!

Somewhat crazy, I know, but the other day I spent ten hours doing school stuff!  I'm certainly not doing stuff everyday though.  Unfortunately, my new principal is not making a good first impression as of yet.  When I spoke to him and found out I'd have the kindy class he said he would send through my class list that afternoon.  That was over a week ago now and I've sent one reminder email (which he never replied to even though I also asked if I could come in for a visit on a certain day) and one reminder phone call when I rang to find out about when I could visit seeing as he didn't reply to the email.  *hohum*  I'm really hoping it's just the time of the year and that he doesn't turn out to be a shocker (like my current one!)

I'm still a bit nervous about the thought of getting sick and having to leave my class in the lurch which is one of the reasons why I am getting as organised as I can now for Term 1.  I figure I'm going to be tired enough as it is without needing to spend extra time at home doing lots of work during first term so if I can get as organised as possible now I have less chance of getting tired, rundown and sick. 

It's funny how much things change in a few years.  Back when I started reading blogs I did lots of searching for teacher blogs for ideas and inspiration and they were very few and far between but now they are everywhere.  In between teacher blogs and pinterest, I probably have enough ideas that I could make resources for 120 hours straight and still have more ideas of things to make. 

I'm sure I'll be back to normal blogging form soon, and I do have a lot of crafty stuff I've made to show you but in the meantime you can keep up with what I've been up to on instagram, because I use that quite a bit!  I'm @threadsofhappiness, do pop in and say hi!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


This year MR and I are having Christmas with his family.  They have a big family Christmas once every two years with extended family and such invited. 

I got my email with all the details about it a little while ago and completely unknown to me, MR's Mum decided that the theme is purple and there will be a jar collecting money to be donated to Transplant Australia.

Isn't that lovely?

But it does bring to mind (not that it was far out of it) the fact that I still haven't written a letter to thank my donor's family.  I think about it often and practice writing it in my head but I never really come up with anything that sounds meaningful enough.  How do you thank someone for the loss of their loved one that allowed you to live? 

However, it needs to be done - it's been over a year now.  So this is how I'm going to celebrate me this year, by celebrating, and thanking, the wonderful people who were generous enough to help others through their loss.

joining up with #reverb12


Sunday, 2 December 2012

Sunday snippets

uncovering old stuff
hanging new stuff
more new stuff (from here)
market visiting
Christmas tree-ing
pikelet cooking

More snippets at Tinniegirl's