30 June 2010

The rooftops of the world

This little chickie family is now happily ensconced in the new pad, now gazing out over the rooftops of Palma and dodging the hundreds of swallows who fly about catching a variety of goodies.  It is a beautiful spot, with lovely sea breezes and the Summer sun beating down.

Our wee chick is happy here with his new location in the foyer, and though this presents certain limitations in terms of food preparation, he seems content and the naps continue to get longer and more consistent, so I can't complain!

I have discovered that stairs at the base of the building cause me to hole up here in my rooftop haven and not want to go out : )

5 weeks until my Chico heads off on a great adventure to Africa and across the Mediterranean.  I am not sure how I'll go with my first real solo effort but chickie and I have a positive outlook and we're big chums, so think we'll be fine.  It is strange to think that in only 8 weeks or so, we'll be looking out on Greek seas instead of Balearic Island waters.

Everyone has been so nice.  Thank you.  It means so much to see such lovely supportive comments.  Arabella is a beautiful on-site supporter of all things to do with us and our relocation, and we've been indulging our creative brain-storming like nothing else.  So much to do when we get to Greece!

I've started some work on a remote basis for a company dedicated to getting people to perform Random Acts of Kindness.  It's a great concept created by a young Irish guy, and they are a clothing company selling tees and underwear with the aim of getting people performing one act per wear.  I'm doing some P.A. stuff for the founder, and it is proving fabulous.  Getting my brain back in gear!  Plus, I love the movement.  If only we were all kinder - what a beautiful place the world would continue to grow into!

Have lovely days!

Bookie- bird.

28 June 2010

Attitude of gratitude # 11

My car is in pieces in the garage (again) and I'm feeling a little too 'home bound' at the moment.  It won't be long before my man has it all together again, but it did bring home to me how much we take some things for granted. 

We get into the car, turn the key in the ignition and we're off.  Simple.  It wasn't always like that...

There was a time when only wealthy people had cars and then usually only one per family.  People did almost everything 'locally'. 

My parents both worked, which was rare in those days and they owned a car which my father 'kept on the road'. When I was a little girl my (overly generous) young mother gave away my dad's car.  Seriously.  One of the girls she worked with had a husband who was paralysed in a parachuting accident and they were house bound.  My mother organised driving lessons for the girl and then gave her our car. How else was she to get her kids and her husband around? My dad was not thrilled!  That's putting it mildly. 

The next two years were strained.  My parents caught the bus to work and back.  We walked to the shops and school.  We walked everywhere, or caught the bus into town.  Our milk, juice, eggs, butter, vegetables and meat were delivered once a week by a 'boy' on a bicycle with a big wicker basket up front.  The rest we bought from the local stores 'piece meal'. We had to be able to carry it home and we didn't live that close to the shops. Relatives came to visit us.  We couldn't 'go out' anymore.

The one thing that we truly missed was our weekly family outing to the local drive-in. Yes, we could have walked but we were still quite small and always fell asleep while we were there.  My dad couldn't quite manage carrying two sleeping logs home. I think we tried it once.

My mother's generosity of spirit was rewarded though.  The lady who cooked and cleaned for us, also slept on the premises.  She looked after us during the day too. (Without her my mother couldn't have worked.  There were no day care centres in those days.) We called her our 'nanny' and her husband (his name was Joel) wasn't allowed to sleep on the premises.  It was against the law and my mother could have got into a lot of trouble for allowing him to sleep there every night.

I can remember nights when the dogs would start barking like crazy and we'd know the police were coming around to do 'pass' checks.  If your maid didn't have the right 'pass' she was taken away in their big van and you were fined.  Worse still, if your maid had a 'boy' sleeping in her room you were in really big trouble! So, my mother would open the back door and let Joel into the house and under their big double bed where he'd remain until the dogs were quiet again.  What days those were!

Joel was a good husband and father.  He worked at the brickworks across the road from our house and saved every penny he could. He wanted a car so he could start a business of his own.  Francina, our nanny got my mother to help her buy a sewing machine and made clothes which she sold to her friends.   

Eventually, Joel had enough money to buy a second hand car.  It was fabulous!  He didn't have anywhere safe to keep it and we had an empty garage...  he also knew how much we loved going to the drive in.  So, we were allowed to borrow his car every now and again when we had the money for petrol and the entry fee to the drive in. Wasn't that lovely?

This story doesn't end there, we did eventually save enough to buy another car... and one bright day, my mother's boss gave her the keys to a brand new Alfa!  It was white and had red leather seats.  I will never forget it. Not only was my mother a well paid, working woman, she was also the first person in our circle of acquaintance to have a 'business car'.  Go mom!  

April Blackbird


25 June 2010

The Uniform Project

Have you heard about The Uniform Project?  I heard about it a while ago and just stumbled across it again the other day.  It's a very cool charity/fashion project where one girl wore the same dress (actually she had 7 identical dresses) every day for 365 days and re-styled the look with donated accessories to have a different look every day.  This project was to raise money for the Akanksha Foundation to raise funds for uniforms and educational expenses for children living in slums in India.  

Read all about it here.  And please, please, please watch the video showing the 365 different looks with the same dress... so amazing!!!  I am in absolute awe of Sheena's styling fashion talent!

So far the project has raised $103, 253.00  and that is one fabulous dress design!

Arabella Chickie in Palma de Mallorca

23 June 2010

Attitude of Gratitude # 10

I'm truly grateful for one of the 'modern' inventions that most women today take totally for granted. The automatic washing machine!


Well do I remember the days of washing in that big old round tub with a central agitator that 'ate' socks and sometimes even whole dresses. (See, you thought I was going to talk about washing in an enamel tub with water drawn from a well! I am, but not quite yet.)

We'd fill the tub with (lots of) hot water (nobody washed in cold water) and (lots of) washing powder that took ages to dissolve.  Our family pushed the tub washer into the middle of the bathroom so it could be connected to the big tap in the bath.  The bath was also a handy receptacle for the washing that had been passed through the huge set of wringers that dangled above the tub.  They squeezed the water (and the life) out of the washing! Everybody had a good stash of replacement buttons and we all learnt how to sew them on so they would 'rock' through the wringers. Which worked only sometimes.

Twice through the wringers and the soapy water was back in the tub and ready for the next round. When all the washing was done, we'd empty the tub and put the washing back in for its first rinse.  The cycle was repeated twice before the washing was hung out to dry.  No fabric softener!  So when nylon clothing first made its appearance we found our clothes clung to us unless we used lots of cream on our bodies.  We also got lots of static shocks!

White washing was always done separately as it had to be bleached.  No grey washing every made its way to our washing lines.  My grandmother used 'blue' which was as messy as sin to use, but it sure kept the whites glowing. We also had the obligatory scrubbing board at hand in case a stubborn stain needed removing.  Talk about cracked knuckles and bleeding fingers! Winter was the worst!

Next time you moan about the mountain of washing in your laundry basket, I'd like you to remember the 'olden days' when doing the weekly wash was back breaking work. It wasn't a pleasant task for us, but this is where I get to tell you about how it was before the washing machine.

My grandmothers used to tell us stories about having to fetch water at the well, heat it in huge cauldrons set over fires they'd made themselves (with wood they'd fetched and then chopped) and then having to 'agitate' the washing with huge wooden poles.  They used soap they'd made themselves too!

They wore such huge and voluminous clothes, so many layers and such huge bloomers! No wonder they were 'guilty' of not washing too frequently by today's standards.

I am so grateful I didn't live then! I wash absolutely everything in my automatic machine.  If it can't be washed in the 'wool' cycle then I simply don't buy it.  Life is far too short to be spent standing in front of a washing tub. As for making our own soap... 

April Blackbird

22 June 2010

Food for thought # 1

"Upsets" can be "set ups"!

Hardly a new 'thought', but one I came across again this morning so I thought I'd share it with you. It made me think. I'm pretty sure that we've all been guilty of this one at some stage.  I know I have.

If you're sitting there wondering what on earth I'm talking about, I'll tell you about a perfect 'set up' scenario I was once 'guilty' of creating for myself.

I was working long hours at a job I didn't particularly enjoy for various reasons I won't get into here.  Instead of simply handing in my notice because I didn't like my job or the person I was working for, I felt I had to keep at it because I'm not a 'quitter'.  Pathetic, but true. I know myself well.

Eventually, I quit because I got really 'upset' about something quite irrelevant actually.  What I did, in fact, was 'set up' an 'upset' so I could feel justified in typing out my notice. I had to 'get really cross' first before I gave myself permission to leave.

So, the next time you find yourself getting 'upset' with someone, or about something, stop and think about why you're feeling and/or reacting like this. 

  • What do you have to gain by getting 'upset'? 
  • Why have you 'set up' this scenario?
  • Has someone 'taken' something away from your life, in some way?
  • Is there something you should have said earlier on that you felt was 'inappropriate'?  (In other words, were you too chicken to speak your truth?)  
  • Are you behaving in a particular way because you subconciously seek the approval of another? 
  • Are you being your true, authentic self or are you simply putting on 'an act'? 

    Interesting food for thought, isn't it?

    April Blackbird

    Attending to a turtle...

    I found half of a turtle in my crochet stash last week that I had started months ago and then forgotten about when I went on holiday.  It made me sad to see her squashed into my bag of supplies neglected, so I thought I had better attend to her and finish her off.

    Poor little thing with no arms, tail or face...

    An arm in progress... (Eew! Check out that hitchhiker's thumb on the right... Freaky!)

    And here she is, posing for her modelling shots, all decked out in her Sunday best...

    Now I don't feel quite so mean.

    Happy Monday!

    Arabella Chickie in Palma de Mallorca

    20 June 2010

    Some lovely Etsy finds...

    I haven't been on Etsy for a long time, so I thought I would have a look this afternoon and see what lovely things I could find.  It's such a great place to visit for crating inspiration and general eye candy!

    Here are some of the things I like right now...

    Some beautiful handmade stoneware from Alina Hayes Ceramics.

    A cute little bead doll from Variation.

    A gorgeous fairy card set (one of them with this supercute image) from Made in Pixieland.

    These amazing polymer clay buttons from Tessa Ann...

    And beautiful glass buttons from More Than Buttons.  I couldn't resist buying some of these...

    and these...

    Happy Saturday!

    Arabella Chickie in Palma de Mallorca

    18 June 2010

    A new first for Chickadee

    Now that life is settling down a little I'm trying to make time to do things that I have put off for a while ... hence have just been to the dentist for a check up. Fortunately I have good teeth, so have never minded this particular requirement. Chickadee however was rather tired and decided that she would not like to be held by one of the lovely nurses, nor sit in her stroller. Needless to say, whilst I was in the chair, Chickadee lay on my chest, face up, treating mummy like her play mat, having a fabulous time.It was just like being pregnant again as she kicked and squirmed, wriggling her bum into my bladder. Oh the memories. Chickadee rather enjoyed all the sights and sounds and tried hard to put her little fingers everywhere they shouldn't go - trying to help of course! As the appointment drew to a close I turned Chickadee onto her tummy whilst simultaneously trying to manage a mouthful of fluoride paste. Needless to say she vomited all over me and I landed up with fluoride in places it didn't belong. Fortunately I know the dentist well ... he didn't seem to mind!
    New Mum Chick

    17 June 2010

    Solo flyer - Motherhood

    I can happily report that it is now going well, this solo motherhood thing.

    The first week over here was a BIG adjustment - a complete change to the rhythm of life - as expected, though I just didn't know quite when to expect the adjustment anxiety to kick in! Being so fortunate to have my wonderful family close by for the first seven weeks - my F.M.I.L. (favourite mother in law), my very special mother, and my amazing husband -I was spoiled indeed.
    In my little upstairs landing haven, dinners were ferried, cups of tea provided, and cuddles available at every turn from a number of warm and safe arms. I was also able to share the night wandering and had lovely folk always willing to pop a pacifier in or to be on duty while I was napping.

    Have to thank the universe for providing us with the brilliant opportunity to be out of work at that time and to have so much special time together.

    So the move to Mallorca with a seven week old chick, complete with new job, no job (me) and being launched into the wonders of overseas motherhood within a few days of arrival, was, well - a little overwhelming!

    I can, however happily now report that I am fully in my groove. The speed-wobbles that plagued those early days have abated with the realization that a routine, and some good organization, some good friends and a positive outlook, are all I need. Oh, and the awareness that my little chick is just happy pottering away with me there, not too far away and that so long as I read his signs, he'll tell me what he needs.

    And so he does. He is now sleeping like a little angel and in a beautiful routine, slightly dependent up the level of construction noise next door....

    Two baby books I have loved reading:

    The Baby Whisperer - with the E.A.S.Y. program (Eat, Activity, Sleep & You time).
    Buddhism for mothers - A calm approach to caring for yourself and your children.

    Not so much about Buddhism, it is more about the gentle approach to living in the present and learning how to play and not be bound by things that 'need to be done' instead of fully enjoying the time you spend with your little person.

    So, as the drilling begins next door - I take my leave. It is a little like being at the dentist!

    Bookie-bird xxx

    16 June 2010

    Places I have been # 4

    Would you remember the name 'Chimanimani' some 37 years after you'd been there?  Well, I do.  Which (if you knew me) would tell you how impressed I was by the magnificent mountain ranges of Zimbabwe.

    I have to say that this must be why I have remembered the trip we made to Zimbabwe (or Rhodesia, as it was then) so vividly.  I fell in love with its people and its mountains. 

    It was well before I developed my knowledge of fauna and flora so the fact that we drove past ancient cycads largely eluded me.  Birds were just 'brown things' to me in those days, but I did acknowledge the raptures we saw circling high above us. Sad, but true.  I had a lot of learning to do...

    Generally, I acknowledged that the countryside and everything in it was stunning.

    There is a story I'd like to share with you about the hotel we stayed at - The Rhodes Hotel Nyanga - but before I go on, take a look at this video (you'll see the big fireplace I'll tell you about later).

    Well, again... we arrived late, it was freezing cold and all we could afford was one of the little external 'Rondavels' (the little round huts) outside. My man paid upfront and someone came out to the car to carry our bags up for us. We got no further than the front desk when we were sprung upon by the (then) owners of the hotel. They'd noted my 'bump' and weren't going to hear anything about us staying 'outside' and having to walk to the bathroom in the freezing cold.

    Unfortunately, I don't remember their names. I do remember their extreme kindness! Again, we were practically the only folk staying at the hotel (times were getting seriously bad and people were scared to travel) and not only were we given a very much upgraded room, but we were invited to join the owners for a drink in front of that big fireplace. There were only a few tables set and after dinner (which I have to admit I don't remember much of) we sat in front of that fire and built a puzzle which their son had left behind before he went off to the army.

    Of course, we didn't finish the puzzle but they wouldn't hear of us breaking it up and putting it away. It stayed on the table for the duration of our stay there.

    I vividly remember the building, the grounds, the view and the freezing cold! I also remember eating trout from the river at some stage. Food fell into the same category as fauna and flora in those days... it was of minor interest to me. I vividly recall that I couldn't live without icecream and then there were those open toast sandwiches with tinned creamed corn on top. I nearly drove my man dilly with the ice cream thing.

    Somehow, I don't think those folk are around anymore. They weren't 'spring chicks' then. I wish I could remember their names, but I do remember their faces. Funny that.

    April Blackbird

    15 June 2010

    A little inspiration #1

    I recently saw the film Invictus, and loved the spirit of strength that came through the poem on which the title is based.  Nelson Mandela regularly turned to this poem during his time in prison, and found great inspiration from it.

    It was written by William Ernest Henley who, at the age of 12, fell victim to tuberculosis of the bone, a result of which he had his leg amputated below the knee later in his life.  He wrote the poem Invictus, from a hospital bed later in his life, and went on to live a long and full life!

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.
    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.
    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.
    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.

    I particularly love the final two lines.  Have a wonderful, inspirational day!!


    Attitude of Gratitude # 9

    Playing this 'Pollyanna' game can be tough some days... today is one of them.  I'm tired (we've been working flat out and sleeping badly) and grouchy and quite out of sorts. Those 'Rose Tinted' glasses have fallen off the table and I'm having a spot of bother finding them.  So stay with me on this one...

    It's on days like these that we I (why the plural, I have to ask on reviewing this post) have to try harder to focus on what's really important.  We I have to trot out all those tired, worn out cliches... 'don't sweat the small stuff' comes to mind instantly.

    So, today I shall merely remind myself of all the good things in my life and give grateful thanks for my:
    • good health
    • loving, healthy, communicative family
    • good, supportive, patient friends
    • the roof above my head and the four walls that surround me
    • the warm, dry, comfortable bed I sleep on
    • the yummy, healthy food on the table I am blessed to sit at
    • the work that keeps my hands (and brain) from idleness
    • the work that keeps my family  (no small thing in this day and age)
    • the car that gets me from A to B
    • the safe place we live in
    • the list goes on what on earth do I have to be grouchy about?
    Onwards and upwards!  The sun is shining beautifully, my washing is going to dry (for a change) and I have lots of work to do. Pollyanna is back in business :)

    May you be (at least) as blessed today.

    April Blackbird

    13 June 2010

    Chirping in the sunshine!

    Beautiful sunny Mallorca in the Summertime. 


    For the birds

     A little birdie told me there was some room on the perch at chickie-chirps, so here I am, presenting for my first blog ever! 

    My little guy is snoozing happily to the sound of whip-birds and magpies, with the occasional kookaburra in a rainstorm.  It has proven to be the most relaxing choice of all the lullabies and other soothing song CD's we had uploaded both i-touches to explosion point with.  That and the sound of a simulated heart-beat.  I'm sure he's smarter than that, but possibly falls asleep before he has time to argue.

    He is 15 weeks old and loving life, with his first giggle this week, and many, many alternatives of communication which I certainly don't understand, but love hearing.  He speaks so intently to himself in the mirror and to the giraffes and various other soft friends which came across with us from Australia when we moved a few months ago.  It did seem cruel.  The vacuum bag was sealed, so no whimpers could be heard from the squashed faces and bodies of the toys, but I felt certain they should be released as first priority upon arrival, and felt certain there was a collective sigh of relief. 

    Sunny Mallorca welcomes us back and we are thrilled to be here with gorgeous Arabella chickie and her chico.  We're on a great adventure together and they are beautiful folk to have on the journey with us.  

    I'm taking solo flying lessons in the TAFE course of motherhood, having worked 4 years in yachting with my incredible chap - what a major change to the rhythm of life.   Kind of knew it was coming, but was not sure when the realization of the level of change would hit.  It has!  Now have my groove back with lots of planning, a very co-operative child and a lot of lovely friends, one chickie in particular, who encourages my chatter and my overdose of te con leche and certain French bakery goods.

    I'm writing my first book and am SO excited that I have finally had the complete idea come to me and I can now start without feeling like I'm on a train without a destination.  Despite the fact that the journey can be as fulfilling as the destination... books tend to need one, I've found.  Or great disappointment can ensue.   

    LOVE this little short by Pixar.  Sure to prompt a smile. 


    12 June 2010

    Few words, a flower, a lamp and an anchor...

    I think I must be a woman of few words (although I am sure my husband would beg to differ... apparently I am always trying to talk to him when he is trying to sleep!).  Every time I go to write something on this blog, my thoughts desert me and I am left with a blank view in my head.  Why is that?  When I am nowhere near my computer of course my head is full of pretty pictures and prose.

    Today I have a few more photos to share from here in Mallorca...  I would say they are picturesque, but that word just cracks me up.  My bestest friend in primary school used to read a lot, and then she would use these words she read in conversations, but somehow, someway (for a very bright chica) she always managed to get the pronunciation wrong;  picturesque became 'picture-skew' and porcelain was 'pork-lane'.  Those two words in particular always make me smile.

    Anyway, here is a lovely flower...

    And a lamp during Reyas celebrations... I have rather a fondness for street lamps...

    And an anchor... or part of one.

    Have a great weekend!

    Arabella Chickie in Palma de Mallorca

    10 June 2010

    Places I have been # 3

    Fort Victoria (now called Masvingo) and the Great Zimbabwe Ruins

    Well, I talked so much about our 'hitch-hiker' when I was telling you about Lake Kyle that I forgot to tell you how much we enjoyed our visit to Fort Victoria and the Great Zimbabwe Ruins.

    If you've ever sat, very quietly, in a very old building you may have had a sense of the awe we felt when we visited the ruins.  There weren't very many other visitors at that time and we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

    The walls are hugely thick and it must have taken forever to put the place together.  When we were there, nobody was quite sure who the builders had been.  There had been much conjecture, but no absolute conclusion.  "A medieval city built by a prosperous culture." What a city it must have been!

    Definitely worth a visit if you're ever in Zimbabwe.

    April Blackbird

    09 June 2010

    An update on Chickadee

    Chickadee will be 18 weeks old this Friday - how time has flown! She seems to be growing before my very eyes. She is certainly very long (she takes after her daddy) but lean (although she has definitely chubbed up to cute proportions in the past fortnight). On Saturday we took her with us to a midday wedding. Being the social creature that she is, she barely slept the entire day, preferring instead to keep a quiet eye on all the action. Despite being excruciatingly tired, she remained in a happy but slightly sedate state for most of the day. She did however choose the solemn part of the ceremony to pass a rather loud, long wind, causing hysterics through the crowd. Mmm ....  Anyway, I don't know exactly what happened on Saturday, but ever since (touch wood) she has been sleeping beautifully. Lovely long naps during the day and right through the night at present. Long may this continue!   Perhaps it is due in part to the fact that we have also started her on solids (rice cereal) which she adores.  Chickadee has decided that she needs to help us feed her so it becomes rather a messy affair. Yesterday I gave her her own spoon to try and keep her occupied but it went straight in the mouth and a little too far back - causing some serious gagging. Some might say this would be the obvious action however mum is a little slow on the uptake at present (the ongoing aftermath of sleep deprivation for so long). Needless to say the nappies have become more interesting now too (I'll spare the gruesome details) but suffice to say there's been some gagging action on mums part too now!  Arabella, Chickadee loves her Bumbo - she loves being upright and keeps pulling herself up now when we lay her down. She is no longer embracing tummy time - I think the problem is that when she is on her stomach she cant lift her hands up long enough to get the toys in her mouth, so she gets really cranky. It is absolutely paramount that everything goes in her mouth ... nothing escapes!  Anyway, time to go get some domestics done while the little one sleeps.

    New Mum Chick 

    A little bit more copic colouring...

    I managed to get a few more hours with my copics on the weekend...  These images are all from Sugar Nellie Stamps, available online at Funkykits.

    Arabella Chickie in Palma de Mallorca

    08 June 2010

    Desigual, meaning uneven or unequal...

    Spanish women seem to have a very interesting and stylish sense of fashion. I particularly love the more colourful clothing I have seen some people wearing. At the moment one of my favourite clothing stores here is called Desigual. This is what they say about the summer 2010 women's collection online:
    "The garments are painstakingly made with their textures, colours, forms and multitude of different beads.  Embroidered buttons, crochet patchwork, frayed clothes, naif motifs... to let you enjoy the heat in the best Desigual spirit."
    I thought I would share with you some of my 'want' items from there at the moment. You can find more online at Desigual. 

    Aren't they cool?!  They make me happy.  I hope they brighten your day too.

    Arabella Chickie in Palma de Mallorca
    (All images from

    07 June 2010

    An Attitude of Gratitude # 8

    I am grateful for the fact that I am getting older.  Even if I do hate being referred to as a 'senior' (for goodness sake what is that, I'm not old enough for that, not yet anyway - give me another ten years and then we might talk again!).

    This morning I looked at my reflection in the mirror as I brushed my teeth and I wondered (yet again), just who that person is that peers back at me.  Nobody that I recognise, that's for sure.  (It might help if I put my glasses on!  Without them, my world is slightly out of focus nowadays.) 

    That said and done... I'm healthy and for that I'm truly grateful.  The alternative is rather too final.

    Which is what this post is about really.  I try (very hard) not to keep track of the dates my friends and family have chosen to leave this world on. It's just a personal thing.  I believe we should celebrate their lives and not their passing. That doesn't mean I don't think of them.  I do.  A lot.

    So many of them fought so hard for their lives. It's those people I want to remember particularly today.

    Do you think for one moment that they wouldn't have cherished the fact that their hair was turning gray; that there were more and more 'crinkles' on their faces; that their bodies were heading South and that their bones creaked and groaned?  I so know that they would have loved to hang around to watch the process.

    It's just my opinion, but I reckon that those of us who are blessed enough to grow old(er) owe something to those who have had to leave early.  We owe it to them to make the most of the moment!  To enjoy the things that are 'real'.  It's not a privilege one should ever take for granted.

    So, for goodness sake celebrate your birthdays in style!  No more keeping 'stom' about the 'dreaded' day (are you nuts?).

    Allow your inner child out to play again!  Eat chocolate cake for breakfast (a family tradition I intend to introduce my littlest chickadees to!), blow out (lots) of candles, remind your family that you expect to be spoilt, don't do any housework and leave the cooking to someone else.  Oh, and don't forget to tell your family you love them! It's important.

    April Blackbird

    06 June 2010

    A little bit of copic colouring

    Lately I have found some spare time to practice colouring with my copics.  Before I left NZ in my last holiday home, I stamped a whole pile of images to colour so that I can get to know my new copic markers and hopefully have some decent pics that I can use on cards in the future (when I get back to my card making gear).  I did have to sneak my copics and images into my bags though before my husband saw them...  He always complains that I get one and a half times the total luggage allowance and he only gets a half... poor boy, but them's the breaks when you're married I say.

    These stamps are from The Greeting Farm and Hero Arts.  I'm not 100% happy with them, but it's all good practice.

    I have just recently purchased some books online about copic colouring, but I will have to share the details in another post as I have just realised I am late for a lunch date!


    Arabella Chickie in Palma de Mallorca

    04 June 2010

    Trials and Tribulations 2

    Well, where do I even begin... it's been a busy past month hence my absence on this blog - despite promising Arabella Chickie that I would commit to at least one post per week. Sorry Arabella ...

    We finally moved in to our new home almost two weeks ago and as one would expect, there have been some (well quite a few) teething problems. Todays issue is the rain - and lots of it. Nature has created a waterfall in our back yard, which is diverting mud flow over the retaining wall and into the pool ... which is filling up faster than it's being pumped out (yes, I rang the pool company who sent a lovely young bloke over to start pumping).  The only positive I can think of is that the pool is not actually finished yet, so at least its muddy contents are not quite the end of the world. Clearly we have some more drainage issues to deal with in the short term.

    It is wonderful to be in a larger house though, particularly with Chickadee, who has far too many belongings for one little person.  She now officially has more clothes than I do, with her Grandpa (yup, the men are sometimes worse than the women) having bought her about 20 new outfits this past week. Chickadee (17 weeks old today) is having a lovely sleep in her beautiful cot, which she loves. I think she is enjoying all that room, after being cramped up in her bassinette for a little too long. She has discovered that she is quite good at cot gymnastics. It's quite funny watching her roll backwards and forwards from her left to her right side and somehow turn around 180 degrees but quite alarming when I discover her lying with her legs stuck through the cot bars!

    Yesterday was one of those horror days where for some unknown reason, Chickadee was really really mis!  She screamed on and off for most of the day, which is really awful when you just don't know what is wrong. As luck would have it, her Dad finished work early to spend some 'quality' time with his bubs. Poor man, couldn't have picked a worse day for it!! I however was quite delighted to have the opportunity to escape to the shops  and recover my sanity. The plan was to look at the sales for a dress to wear to a wedding tomorrow.  Well, it was dismal. I spent most of the time worrying about Chickadee and conferring with husband over the phone as to the best course of action for him to take to help settle her down. The sales were hopeless and would you believe there was not an appropriate dress to be found anywhere. I have a distinct memory of being pregnant and seeing at least 20 dresses I would love to own!  I left the shops with two purchases ... a pair of stomach minimising knickers (the joys of having a child) to wear with the as yet unknown outfit tomorrow and ... yes, another cardigan for my baby. How life has changed ...

    And now, I must go do the ironing. At least now I have a pretty water feature to look at in the garden whilst I work!

    New Mum Chick

    02 June 2010

    Attitude of Gratitude # 7

    I am truly grateful for the roof above my head! Literally.

    We've had huge storms buffeting the New South Wales south coast and a lot of people have lost 'the roof above their heads'.  The wind whipped them up and away!  Not too pleasant an experience, especially when it's raining heavily.

    Sydney had a cyclone warning for the weekend and we were amazed at how good people were about cancelling sports events and staying home.  Generally speaking, people were being very careful to stay off the roads and out of harms way.  They literally 'battened down the hatches'.  Garden furniture was secured or put away, awnings were tied up or put away, gutters were cleaned out and cars were parked as far away from potential harm as possible.

    The cyclone missed Sydney.  A lot of people made a big fuss about the 'warning'.  Frankly, I'm glad we had the warning.  Wind scares me silly.  We live on top of a hill and I wasn't looking forward to being subjected to that kind of wind.

    So yes, I am grateful for the roof above my head.

    April Blackbird

    01 June 2010

    Some summer photos from Mallorca

    Not much crafting happening lately, so here are a few photos from our favourite island ... Mallorca!!!

    View from up near the lamb restaurant in Alaro

    View from above the Port of Valledemossa

    A lovely hotel in Palma old town.

    Another lovely building in the old town.

    The flood in our street the other day!

    Hasta luego!

    Arabella Chickie in Palma de Mallorca