Thursday, 18 September 2014

Water intake

Since having a liver transplant almost three years ago, I've started to have some problems with my kidneys.  My anti-rejection medication is known to give kidneys a hard time and mine seem to be easily annoyed, along with the rest of my organs, by medication.  There's not a lot that can be done about it, just monitor them and keep my medication levels as low as possible.

One thing I do have to do is drink plenty of water.  Luckily, I already was a water girl and I don't drink tea or coffee and rarely drink soft drinks or juice.  I always have a water bottle with me, wherever I go.  If I forget it I always feel overwhelmed by thoughts of thirstiness until I get somewhere I can get a drink or buy a bottle of water from.  Other days, I just really feel sick of water.  On those days I might have a glass of juice or put a bit of cordial or lemon juice in my water. 

Even still though, sometimes I struggle to drink my two litre target.  I get busy at school or sleep in late or just completely forget to have a drink.  I'm not one to knock back half a bottle in one sitting, I'm more of a small mouthful and often girl.  So if I get busy or forget to have my regular small mouthful some days I only drink about 1400 - 1600mL.  It's a bad day if I drink less than two 750mL bottles.  And I can tell when I haven't had enough to drink.

One thing I'm loving about my fitbit is there is a function on the app that you can track your water intake.  I try to remember how much I've drunk during the day to add that in each evening and then I can graph my results, very interesting to look at (and doesn't that sound nerdy).

I know that people should aim for eight glasses or two litres of water per day but what I'm interested in is how much water do you actually drink?  Do you regularly drink two litres or do you drink much less?  What do you think your average water intake would be?  

Monday, 15 September 2014

Here's one I prepared earlier. Much earlier.

When I was going through all my old posts looking for creative pictures to add to my tour through blogland post I realised there was a very cool project I made at the end of last year the year before (!!) as a Christmas present for my sister.  I think it was for Christmas.  Maybe it was her birthday.  It was that long ago I don't even remember.

I made this little button heart for myself at the beginning of 2012 and my sister commented on it and asked me to make her one in pink.  It was the height of ombre love so I thought, how cool would it be to make it in shades of pale pink through to a dark red.  So off I went.  As mentioned in my last post, on the floor.  I thought this one through a bit more because I wasn't 100% happy with how my version turned out, the buttons weren't quite close enough.  There was actually planning and testing in this version.

First on paper...

and then slowly and carefully transferring it to fabric. 
I moved to the table for this, no accidental bumping allowed!

And finished.

I was so pleased with how this turned out and being a bit of a puzzle lover, I really enjoyed moving the buttons around and getting them all into that just perfect place.  I really should remake mine with the buttons closer together.  And maybe a bit bigger, the pink one is more than twice as large as mine.


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Tour Through Blogland

I've been invited on a Tour through Blogland by Michelle from Jarrah Jungle.

I have been following Michelle's blog right back from the beginning, she was one of the first Western Australian bloggers I found and I have been enjoying reading about her home renovations ever since.  Her posts have lots of details and tips about renovating so if you are thinking of doing anything to your house I'd definitely recommend checking it out, as her and her partner have almost finished renovating their entire house and the improvements are amazing!

There are some questions I need to answer for my stop in the tour...

What am I working on?

Currently I am focusing on developing my knitting skills.  My mum tells a story of when I was about three and a half I asked her if I could learn to knit (Mum did a lot of knitting and spinning her own wool when I was young).  Mum told me I could learn when I was four, more as a putting me off tactic I think.  So on my fourth birthday apparently one of the first things I asked was if I could now learn to knit.  I believe I was successful in learning to knit a square.  I probably knitted scarves for my barbie dolls.  But then I forgot.  So I relearned to knit about ten years ago.  And then forgot again.  And then I got into crochet and picked that up so easily.  Knitting is so much trickier for me.  I'm finally on track with it, I have learnt to use circular needles and now I'm learning about using double point needles (dpns).  It's all a bit exciting, I really enjoy learning new things.

At the moment, I'm sticking with beanies.  Yes, it is the beginning of Spring.  A terrible time for beanie knitting.  But it's two weeks until we fly out to Europe so these beanies are going to come in handy for the predicted 15-20 degree maximum forecast weather we'll be experiencing.  

The one above is for me.  My first attempt at dpns and at moss stitch as well.  The one below is for MR, knit up with the possum/merino blend I bought on our holiday to New Zealand last year.

And after finishing the above one last night, I've already cast on the next. A slouchy one this time.  And I'm having a go at casting on with dpns, another new thing for me.

How does my work differ from others?

To be honest, I don't think my work differs greatly from others.  I'm not cutting edge, I'm only trying things that are new to me, not new to anyone else.  

Sashiko on the left, embroidered fabric print on the right which I later turned into a clock

I'll try anything once.  As I mentioned, I love learning new things.  There's been candle making and mosaics, clock creating, drawing with pastels, painting, embroidery, sashiko, amigurumi crochet, occasional sewing, crochet blankets, button creations.  Seriously, the list goes on.  If I'm creating, I'm happy.

Mosaic trivet

My blog is a bit of a mish mash of everything.  The only thing different on my blog to most crafty/lifestyle blogs you'll find out there is that I've had a liver transplant and occasionally you'll come across posts about that and gory scar photos!  Something different but I'm trying to move away from my health ruling my life and my health has been pretty good of late.

Koala amigurumi

How does my writing/creating process work?

I'm a couch creator.  I blog on the couch, I knit on the couch, I embroider and crochet on the couch.  I love my couch.  It is such a comfortable space.  I find typing at a desk leaves me hunched up and slouched and lop-shouldered.  If I'm doing something that I can't do on the couch, like painting, I'll often do it on the floor rather than at the table.  My day job is an early childhood teacher so I'm often on the floor and I'm naturally most comfortable sitting with my legs crossed.

The Pink Blanket

Apart from where you can find me, everything else is up in the air.  I'm a huge fly by the seat of your pants / wing it sort of girl.  Whether it is creating or writing this comes into play.  There are a lot of last minute decisions, spontaneous crafting with not quite the right tools or materials, late night posting or two posts in a day and then none for two weeks.  That's me in a nutshell.  I'd love to say I was organised and had plans and those sorts of things but I've never managed that in my life so far and I think I'm still a while away from getting there!  One day.  We always need goals right?

So I'm a bit different from most of the other high organised bloggers out there on this blog tour.  Not to worry!  Thanks so much for inviting me on the tour Michelle, I've had fun looking back through my creative photos to decide which photos to post.

My two nominees are....

Sally from Virtù

Sally and I met online, soon after we both started blogging.  We learnt to crochet together, by which I mean we emailed back and forth about all the difficulties we were having and we both attempted the same pattern so that we could help each other through reading the confusing terminology!  Nowadays, Sally and I usually see each other once a month at our Brown Owls craft meetup.  She's a pretty awesome lady and my mama inspiration (when I eventually become a mum).

Hiya! I'm Sally from virtù. I began my blog on a whim one night  back when I first started to learn about sewing. It was a way of recording my achievements and a means of connecting with other people. I still remember the absolute elation I experienced when someone commented on my blog for the very first time.  At the time I had two small children and was still getting the hang of being "isolated" at home. 


Nicole from dabbling all day 

I initially got to know Nicole through instagram after following her because she was a friend of someone else I followed.  Eventually, I stopped being lazy and clicked on the link to her blog in her instagram profile and low and behold, here was someone a bit like me.  A one fur baby family, a crafter, a much more successful gardener and someone who loves spending time in the kitchen just as much as I do.  She's much more productive and organised than I am though!

I'm Nicole and I blog at dabbling all day. I'm from Melbourne, Australia and live with my partner, BB, and our kitty, Sampson.   I write about all the things I'm dabbling in at any one time, whether it be gardening, crafting, photography, cooking or baking! I'm always up to something.

 I look forward to reading your posts next Monday ladies.  

Thank you everyone for coming to visit my little corner of blogland, I hope you come back soon. x


Monday, 8 September 2014

Frollick through the flowers

A few weeks ago I went on a picnic with my mum, sister and MR's mum to Araluen Botanical Garden which is about a 50 minute drive from where I live in Perth.  I hadn't been in about ten years and really wanted to go again before I moved back to the country because then it will be even further away and trips to Perth will already be cram packed with other things that need to be done.  It was a beautiful Winter's day.  Sun mostly shining, breeze not too strong.  We all brought something to share and some blankets to sit on before we left our food bags sitting under a tree and went for a wander around the quite large park. 

The reason I was so keen to go is because of the flowers.  Each Spring (late Winter really) is tulip season at the park.  There are thousands of Spring bulbs planted each year and it is just so beautiful to go and have a walk through the gardens and see all the beautiful displays.

I really love Spring bulbs, they are my favourite flowers.  Tulips, snowdrops, daffodils, bluebells.  I could fill my garden with them.  I do try but unfortunately I only have intermittent success.  This year, out of all of my bulbs, only my bluebells flowered.  And next year, in the country where it not really the climate for bulbs I will probably only get some jonquils which are already established around the fruit trees up there.  So I enjoyed them all the more in the gardens when I went to visit. 


Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Room Reveal

A while back I told you that we were in the process of beginning the changes to our country home.  It's only a small change at this point, certainly not the finished room reveal that the post title touts (but it got you here, didn't it?)  I do promise to do more down the track but at the moment all spare money is being saved towards our trip to Europe which is coming up in 3 weeks and 5 days.  And, argh! that is creating it's own stresses writing that here because that is really NOT LONG AT ALL.  More on that another time though.

So we've painted the main living area of the country house.  It's a big backwards L shape and we've painted the long sides.  The short sides are the kitchen and we still need to get to that.  We have the paint (it's going to be the same white that the wall on the left side of the finished photo is) but the main thing we're lacking there is the time.  MR is currently busy promoting the family business at the country field days around WA and I'm only there about once a month for two nights and relaxing, spending time together and socialising seem to take up all of that time!  We'll get there.

The house is the one MR spent most of his childhood in.  His parents were still in it until last year when they retired to the coast.  Their colours are a lot different to ours, as you can see from the pictures below...

The room's original colours

We sanded all of the walls, I actually did about half of it *proud moment*

First undercoat of white on.  We ended up with two undercoats and two topcoats.  I did most of the cutting in and MR did the rolling.

We were so amazed by how different it looks.  Even looking at it now in the photos, I'm astounded by how much of a different vibe I get from the room.  The turquoise was quite hard to photograph, it's more of the greeny colour down near the chairs than the blue up near the sun shining in through the skylights.  The colour is Tempted Turquoise from British Paints if you want to see the real deal. (6th across from the bottom right of the colour panel).  The white is from Dulux and is called Peplum Quarter.

This was our first experience of painting walls ourselves (other than helping out others) so it's certainly not perfect.  The paint tape didn't stick down very well (even though we bought the good blue scotch stuff) so unfortunately a bit of turquoise paint has seeped under it onto the lino floor.  Any tips on how to get the tape to stick properly would be greatly appreciated experienced painters!

As you can see, this house has amazing, wonderful, glorious amounts of natural light.  Up above that wooden paneling is a raked ceiling with windows running the entire length of the dining and kitchen area which lets the light into the south facing side of the main living areas.  MR's parents designed and built this house so they were definitely well ahead of the typical type of house built twenty odd years ago.  I'm really looking forward to moving in to it, which is going to be at the end of this year! I've told my principal and put in my transfer with the Education Department last week, so it is fairly official!  

I think having such a beautiful home to move into is really helping my excitement levels about being back in the country away from the clothes shops and the shops with large varieties of food and the cafes and pilates.  That and it will be the first time in our seven year (almost eight by the time I move) relationship that MR and I will be living together, properly.  That is the part I am looking forward to the most.