Monday, 28 May 2012

he's broken

Yes, the photo is of Ben being ridden. He really is gorgeous when under saddle.

But its not Ben that's broken.

Its Wayne.

Long story: A friend of ours has a fearless, young, fit, lightweight son with supple bones. He volunteered to get on Ben for the first time. So we did what every self respecting unbroken horse owner would do: we jumped at the chance.

So on Sunday the family came over, we pulled poor Ben out of the paddock where he had done nothing more strenuous than let us rug him and give him carrots for months, slapped a saddle on his back, did a token lunge and Christian jumped on.

Really, Ben did extremely well. He basically stood still and snorted. He refused to move. When he did he did a series of small pigroots and dumped Christian on his butt. Christian, being young, fearless, fit and supple boned, got right back on and stayed on. Ben really did take it very well. He did try to get away a couple of times, but by the end of an hour's work he was walking more or less in a controlled manner.

Great huh? So how did Wayne end up broken?

Well... this morning I was relaxing, having my coffee while Wayne went out to feed horses and chickens. Or so I thought. When I went out I found Wayne on Ben while Ben stood stock still in the middle of the paddock. He was back to his 'I don't know if I can move with someone on my back' routine.

I offered to help by leading him around a bit and went into the paddock. As I reached down to pick up a carrot, under Wayne's instructions, I heard Wayne urge Ben to move forward... which he did. Adding a few stiff legged pigroots and a few quick spins in for good measure. It was the spins that did Wayne in.

He went flying off, landing in a heap in the mud. Apparently his second dump for the morning. To give him credit, he cowboyed up and got back in the saddle even though he was in great pain.

He's alive. I took him to the doctor under protest and he's having xrays done but I'm pretty sure he's pulled muscles and bruised his ego badly. He was most upset that the doctor wrote 'fell off a horse' on his xray request.

"Fell off! How humiliating! Not thrown or tossed off, but fell off!" he grumbled.

Poor Wayne. I've tucked him into his recliner, dosed him up on painkillers and cups of hot tea with instructions not to do anything at all. But he's a man. He insisted he come out and rug his own horse. I had to chase him away with a stick. I swear. Men!

I suspect he may actually have a broken rib or three. I've been there before and I know how painful that is. Many years ago when I used to ride regularly I came off a horse at full gallop. The horse I was on skipped to the side suddenly over a fallen branch and I lost my balance. I'd have been ok if I hadn't been so cocky and just let go at that point.

"I couldn't possibly fall off. I hadn't fallen off a horse in ages! I was a good rider. I could get back into the saddle, no problem!"

I was hanging there, in full stunt rider mode, slung underneath the horse's stomach thinking "I can get back up from here" when the horse's back legs came up and clocked me in the ribs.

At that point I did let go.

I lay there gasping for breath for a while. When I tried to move I could hear clicking and crunching inside my chest which hadn't been there before. I was pretty sure it wasn't a good sign.

But, as you know, you have to get back in the saddle after a fall. People hovered over me and I was saying "I'm ok, I'll get back on and ride back if I can just catch my breath!"

I never did. They had to send someone back to get the 4x4 (we'd been riding in pretty rough country) while someone stayed with me, sitting back to back so I could sit up and breath.

About 8 hours later, at the closest hospital, I found out I had five broken ribs and a punctured lung.

I don't do things by halves.

Unlike Wayne. He likes to do things in small doses. A kick here, a stomp there, a push and fall there... If you're gonna do it, I say, do it good. Eight days in hospital and 2 months off work. That'll learn ya!

Strangely, I am still eager to get on Ben. I was willing to get on him today but Wayne wouldn't let me. Probably for the best, though. Knowing my propensity for doing it 'good'. We can't afford both of us off sick at once.


DIY - peg bag

Showing off my cute little peg bag. On our old Hills Hoist - the very symbol of Australian back yards. I love Hills Hoists. The original old style ones like this.

You know what its like - you can buy peg bags but none of them have real character.  And really, I'd never had peg bag. I never used them. I'm the sort who pegs clothes out, then removes them and just puts the pegs back on the line. To me its easy: you find free space on the line to peg up larger items, use the densely peg-populated areas for things like socks and undies.. easy and no extra work.

But then you move in with a man who can't/won't move pegs and simply puts sheets on the line over existing pegs. hmmm.

He was obviously raised by a mother who pegged out clothes and collected pegs when she collected dry washing off the line. My mother treats her pegs with a certain amount of disrespect.
I like my way better. Its the lazy way. However its the little compromises which make relationships work. (heheh)

Having found I needed a peg bag, I decided I needed one that suited my style. A friend of ours has one of her own baby dresses made into a peg bag. Its gorgeous, frilly, and antique (no comment on her age! my own dresses would qualify as antiques as well!).

I went looking in tip shops for a pretty frilly dress to make my peg bag. I couldn't find anything that appealed to me. 

Till I saw these little overalls. They were just so cute! I simply stitched up the bottom straight across. Then I stitched the top of the straps onto the hanger so it wouldn't fall off. I used a plastic coated hanger so it wouldn't rust and ruin the overalls. Lastly I bend the hanger top so it wouldn't blow off in the wind.

Voila. Pretty peg bag.


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

DIY - wine anyone?

I've seen a lot of trays re-made and re-purposed on Pinterest and decided it was time for me to try my hand at one. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

What started like a simple idea turned into a saga of mamoth proportions.

This is what the tray looked like when I found it at... you guessed it... a tip shop.

First thing I did was paint it. And re-paint it. And sand it back a bit. I went with white, then a pale green colour. I tried crackle finish. Nothing seemed right.

I painted chalkboard paint on the base. Then re-painted it and sanded it again. That's why it looks so messy. I wasn't very careful with the blue/gray paint I settled on cause I'd already decided I didn't like the chalkboard paint and was going to wallpaper the bottom of the tray.

Ok. Looking at the photos now I think I maybe should have fixed up the messy bits and stuck with it as it was. But I wasn't happy so I kept going.

I didn't take photos of the wallpaper idea. It was horrendous. Take my word for it. I scraped the paper off before it dried and then I had to remove the goop. Yuck. It wasn't easy to remove and the only way to fix it was to put something else on the bottom to cover the mess.

I bought some popsicle sticks, trimmed off the round ends and glued them to the bottom of the tray. I sanded them smooth, gave them a coat of polyurethane, a light sand and another coat of poly, at it was done.

I actually liked it. Here it is drying.

But thing is I wanted to put feet on it. I'd seen a gorgeous tray with cabinet knobs as feet. I found some knobs I thought would work. Nope. They looked awful.

By this time the tray had become a thorn in my side. Till last night. As I tossed and turned I suddenly came up with an idea!


So now, my tray is a wine tray!



Monday, 21 May 2012

am I the only one?

... who finds rusty things beautiful? 

No. I know I'm not. In fact, Wayne is a rusty fan too. Actually he has a big rusty collection. One that is now also mine in that what's his is mine and what's mine is mine. hehehe. Ok... what's mine is his too, expect for my tools. My tools are my tools cause he forgets them on the lawn or borrows them and puts them away safely in a spot where neither of us can find them again.

I shouldn't be mean about Wayne on my blog... I know his family reads this! (Hi guys! I'm joking. Mostly.)

So... I mentioned my addiction to tip shopping, did I mention that I went tip and op shopping the other day and came away with a pretty good haul of stuff for under $15? Compared to what I see on Pinterest and other blogs, we in Australia are deprived. When I hear about the stuff people in the USA buy for single figures I turn green with envy.

For instance, there are no fancy cabinets in junk stores around here. Nothing with decorative trim unless its 60s laminate stuff. Not that I've seen anyway, and trust me, I've looked. I crawl around on my hands and knees, over wardrobes, and under piles of grannies old bedding. If we want something like that we have to pay antique shop prices. And when you pay hundreds of dollars for an old piece of furniture you're a bit reluctant to experiment on it.

Still, I did find some good stuff. I usually do. In fact, most of the time I have to restrain myself.

So, I ask again... am I the only person who gets excited about things like this?

These chandelier crystals are only plastic, not glass, but they still look good and will come in handy for something!

Love these little cupcake thingies. I really must learn what they're called...

 Ok... old hinges. And old numbers. And old latches. And old bolts. I like 'em.

Hooks and knobs and handles and door hardware...

This isn't a tip shop find. Its something I found in Wayne's garage. I have no idea what it is, but its galvanised iron and its cool! Wayne said I could have it. I swear. I picture it holding useful items on the outdoor table. A bottle of water. Glasses. Napkins. Salt and pepper shakers. Or jars full of flowers...

Did I show off my new teapot? I think I'll use this one as it is once I clean it up.


So, here's a photo of my 'new' whiz bang workshop organiser. Eventually I'll put wheels on it so I can move it easily and I'll find/make/adapt boxes to fit into the slots as drawers. For now, I've started sorting things into whatever containers I had handy which fit into the shelves. I'm so excited. I can finally see my work surfaces again - I only have to pull out 4-5 boxes to find the one I need.

I will be putting labels on them.

 On another subject entirely, here are my beautiful dogs. This is Romeo being sooky.

Cause he was barking at the TV earlier and got yelled at.

Montana doesn't care for TV. She's a snob that way. 

Her problem is that her mom finds her too cute and kisses her which wakes her up.

I adore my babies and  love showing them off. I haven't done enough of that lately!




harry the hooker

Wayne's been at it again. He disappeared into the garage for hours over the weekend and I could hear hammering, see smoke billowing out and hear the odd swear word. He got the forge going... and this time didn't burn off his eyebrows! Bonus!

Sometime yesterday afternoon he emerged, strutted down to the lawn and set this little man out on the table. 

Meet Harry the Hooker.

He's cute isn't he? In a kind of dangerous way.

I just love these little robotic monsters Wayne is making and thought I'd show them off.


Sunday, 20 May 2012

elmer the emu

The other night I got into the 'zone' again and made another felted animal. I had an emu in mind cause we'd made an emu at work with clients last year and really enjoyed it. In that instance it was a papier mache emu and we couldn't find a way to get him to balance on his long skinny legs, then I accidentally broke a leg... so we ended up putting him in a wheelchair. It was great. How perfect is a disabled emu made by a group of people with a disability? He was exhibited at the Cosmos Art Show and sold.

This is the only photo I have of him, unfinished.

Wheelie Bird, made by Day In The Hall clients at Cosmos Inc. (website designed by me, incidentally)
But back to my emu who looks like a cross between Big Bird and Beaker.

Elmer, the emu.

 See the resemblance?

Anyway, I think he's adorable. I made Elmer and Kangarat to enter in a competition being held in Salamanca in Hobart but now I'm not sure. It costs $15 per entry, then I have to price them for sale and drop them off and pick them up if they don't sell. I think I'd be better off reviving my Etsy shop and selling them through there.

Then again, if I'm going to be selling items through Etsy (or ebay) I should really have a regular list of items for sale, right? And I'm too scattered to do that. 

Seriously. I have a million projects on the go at any one time and another gazillion whizzing around inside my head, bouncing around like dodgem cars.

Plus, I have a serious affliction. I'm addicted to tip shopping. I can try to resist but its futile. I give in and I'm in there, on my knees going through boxes of rusty stuff, getting my hands dirty, unearthing some small bit of something which I know will be perfect for some project I have in the back of my mind. Or seeing stuff I think would be perfect for xxx, or would look great if I just did xxx to it.

I just can't help myself. I'm like that bug in A Bug's Life who flies toward the light saying "I... can't... help... it".

Yesterday I asked Wayne to help move a cabinet which weighed as much as a small tractor into the workshop area of the casita for me. I believe it was some kind of sorting cabinet for paper in a previous life cause it has tons of small slots in which paper would fit perfectly. I think it'll be really handy to sort my junk inventory in some sort of order. All the knobs in a box in their own slot. All the hinges in another. All the nuts and bolts in another. You get the idea.

A wise friend of mine pointed out that until I start to actually use the stuff I'm collecting to make stuff (and by that she means FINISH stuff) I'm nothing but a hoarder in training.

I have to face reality. She's right. My desk is covered in post-it notes with To Dos. I have a notebook full of To Do lists and all I seem to do is cross off one, add 3 and reshuffle the rest.  I need to actually finish some of my projects. Then I can justify the stuff I collect.... cause I ain't about to stop!

Perhaps letting the ideas out of my head will give me some peace as well. As it is, getting to sleep at night is really hard when I'm lying there thinking of solutions to problems I haven't actually faced yet.


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

its a kangarat!

Yes, yes. I know. Its been AGES since I last posted. I don't know how those 'other' bloggers do it. I just can't blog on a regular basis when I'm working. I seem to push blogging down the list as other things pile on top.

However, I have been busy. Not as busy as I'd like given the wrist pains. For instance, this last week I haven't done much at all.

One thing I did do was finally finish my lightbox. This is a lightbox made from a cardboard box, white paper, a tip shop sheet and a desk lamp. The desk lamp came from a garage sale a few months ago. I bought it despite the fact that it didn't have the clamp to hold it to the desk cause I thought we could make a base for it. I asked Wayne to make a base for it on the weekend and this is what he made:

The base is made from 2 offcuts of wood from our deck extension and corregated iron strips which have been hammered flat and nailed on. Pretty cool. A bit of overkill I thought, but hey. It works!

And the proof that  it works is in the photos! This is my felt kangarat. I took these photos in my new lightbox using my simple point and click camera.

I've tried various felting experiments in the past. Most of them were dismal failures. Or mediocre failures at best... First is a small felt purse made with bought felt with a felted toy poodle on it.

Then there's the throw with felted poodles playing on it. This one I think I buried in the back yard.

In fact I think this is my favourite felt project till recently. My favourite polar fleece jumper had lots of small holes on it from puppy teeth (thanks Bonnard!). I cut up pieces of felt and felted on the patches. I love the colour spots on my jumper now.

So... when I decided to have a go at a three dimensional felted animal I was diving into the deep end. I started with some pieces of a scarf I wet felted and would never wear. I cut a piece of the scarf and created a cone shape. I filled it with felted scraps, then I started felting the two tones of grey onto it to make the kangaroo colour.

The head, ears, legs, arms and tail were all made separately and felted onto the body. It was interesting, and other than impaling myself on the felting needles a few times, it was easy enough.

I decided my little kanagroo needed a jumper so I simply felted a square piece of blue, created holes for the sleeves and folded over the collar.

When I showed it to Wayne he said it looked more like a rat than a kangaroo.


I will call him a kangarat!

And I think he's gorgeous!


Friday, 11 May 2012

its a pain in the wrist!

Fox Photos, Getty Images
It's been hell week around here.

It all started last weekend with a sore wrist.

If you want to get technical, the sore wrist started over 20 years ago, but let's not get too carried away.

Week before I lifted a client's bag at work and something went PING in my wrist. I swear, the bag is heavier than the client. From now on, for OH&S reasons, I'll use the van hoist to lift the bag into the van.

But I digress... I was simply trying to set the scene. The wrist was already feeling a bit more fragile than normal, which is fragile enough.

Then I decided to groom the poodles. Ordinarily, not a big job. But on top of other things I'd had to do on the weekend and the long overdue-ness of the grooming, it really took it out of me.

Looking back now with what the Doc said, I can understand where a lot of my wrist issues come from. Yes, I gave in and went to the doctor. Again. Last time I simply got "It could be carpal tunnel, but we can't be sure. Just rest it."

However, the pain used to last a night then go away. Lately the time lag between being sore and feeling better seems to stretch out to days or weeks. It really gets me down. Not only am I sore but I have to put off things I need/want/am itching to do.

So off to the doctor I trekked. This time, not my regular doctor, agreed we test for rheumatoid arthritis given its hereditary and I've had pains in my other hand as well. But he said that the wrist problem was a separate issue. He seems to think its not carpal tunnel but de quervain's tenosynovitis - aka washer woman's syndrome or, more exotically, gamer's thumb.

I figure that having had RSI years ago which resulted in pain every time I over-used my right hand in any repetitive way, has somehow made that wrist weaker and more susceptible to this new and improved problem.

Whatever the cause, the only real treatment is rest.

Rest. What's that????

I hate resting. I have too much to do. If I rest my body then my brain just goes into overdrive and I can't sleep.


So I've been rather down this week. Add to that a hellish week at work where everything that could go wrong did.... you get the picture.

Getty Images
I look forward to the weekend, though this weekend is stuffed up as it starts with a full day of training at work.

Still, there are things to look forward to. After work today Wayne and I will visit the Art from Trash exhibition in Salamanca which I'm excited about. Then on Sunday I'll have time to work on some of my own projects.

There are so many of them and I'm really keen to get to them. Nothing too wrist/thumb intensive...

I'll leave you with some cheerful thoughts.

See ya soon.