Creating, collecting & recycling textiles & papercrafts. I love preserving the past for the future.

Saturday, 31 December 2011


This vintage image courtesy of the Graphics Fairy

Would love to visit France one's probably just a dream though.

MY YEAR my 2011.....a year I would probably rather forget.
Well tomorrow will be the first day of 2012.
What will this new year bring?
I have had a roller coaster of a year in 2011.
Housebound due to back pain.
Told there was nothing to be done to help me.
My Dad and Mum came up exactly one year ago to the day and said it was simply not good enough...I had no quality of life.
We looked up a certain neurosurgeon practise on the internet....
In 2010 one of the partners had operated on my brother and got him almost pain free and back to work.
One of the partners comes up to Toowoomba once a month.
I duly booked an appointment with him not expecting much...I had had so many doors closed to me over the last 17 years.
He said my back was 'a mess' surprises there....he could perform an operation on me that would help. He asked which part of my spine was causing me the most pain. I told him and he said that the MRI confirmed that fact.
A Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion or TLIF for short.
He could do it within the month...but in Brisbane
He was a lovely man....did not rush me or my shocked hubby.... Answered all and every question we could think of on the spot.
Such HUGE news for us....we walked out of that office and I burst into un-controllable sobbing....ushered into a side room to gather my emotions.....I walked out and all heads in the waiting room turned to me and I's all's good news not bad.... Walked out into the hot February sunshine...floating on air...We both were shocked, felt like we had won the lottery.
This image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

(Since 1994 my pain has progressed and worsened. Can't drive, hold down a job, do many household chores, can't queue, can't grocery shop, can't travel in vehicles very well, can't travel in a vehicle that is towing a caravan or trailer at all, can't sit much, can't garden, can't hold my nieces and nephews....the boring list goes on. Everything hurt in varying degrees but mainly everything just plain hurt).
The original operation was scheduled for March but ended up having it in May due to some problems with bladder infections interfering and holding things up etc.
Spent 10days in hospital...I won't lie the pain was cruel, but there was an end goal in sight...
Then spent 3 weeks at my parents house as we live about 3 hours drive from Brisbane and it was too much.
Arrived home about one month after the operation. Was walking everyday. It was deep winter so was VERY cold and walking was fun after all these years of suffering. It actually felt good to walk again. Before long I was walking so well that my husband was complaining that he could not keep up with me...just like years ago...YAY!
Was progressing really well. Could walk up to 3 kms in just over 30 minutes... a BIG indicator that the TLIF had worked.

Two months after the operation I fell over backwards and the pain was worse that it had ever been.

So now at 5 months since the fall, I have been back to see the Neurosurgeon twice. I have had a CT scan, bone scan and MRI. It seems I need two more TLIF's at levels above and below my original TLIF.....EWWWW!!!!!!

The first TLIF cost us roughly $13,000 after Medicare and Private Health Fund, but any more will only be bulk billed so that's a relief!!!
It's a lot to take in....

Recently saw a Pain Management Specialist in Toowoomba at the suggestion of my Neurosurgeon....he performed a diagnostic facet joint injection procedure in Day Surgery.
He thought that indicated enough of a result to go ahead with a Radiofrequency Ablation at one level below and 2 levels above the L5/L6 TLIF one week later.
Had the RFA 2 and a half weeks ago. Not much to report.
Still much the same pain as before.
So either it's taking its own sweet time to work or or it's not going to work at all.
I heard it can take up to 6 weeks to work....
My daughter is due to have her baby in 5 weeks. She lives a 3 hr car crive away. I really want and she really wants me to be there for her.
It's not too much to desire it it?

I have been housebound for the entire year except for medical appointments.
I have done nothing fun out of the house.
I don't know how I have not gone mad.
I did have my 50th this year and there were 17 here all up to celebrate.
That was before I fell over and wrecked the surgery.
Anyhow I am hoping for a better 2012 than my's only a date on the calender, but I would really like to draw a line under 2011 and hope for better things to come.

Post lunch with friends.

My friend Jenny and her husband have been friends of ours for nearly 25 years now.
We met in Richmond, New South Wales.
Our husbands were both in the Royal Australian Air Force.
I was expecting my second child and we met over the back fence.
We were neighbours for nearly three years.
It's a friendship that has endured and blossomed through trials and tribulations.
After moving all around Australia they have settled now, about an hour's drive from us.
She and her husband regularly visit us.
I am still house bound and she is very loyal in her visits to me, especially as we don't just live around the corner.
We met up a few days after Christmas for lunch.
Roast turkey, plum pudding etc. All home made with my own blood sweat and tears.....the radio frequency ablation is either taking its time to work (2 weeks and counting now) or else it's not going to work at's REALLY hoping....
The weather is still's not been hot at all...
We exchanged gifts.
We know each other all too well.
She spoilt me this year.
The bird cage sweet.
And for those who know me....vintage, scottish terriers, pansies, eiffel tower does not take much to make me happy.

Cast iron scottish terrier

A little scotty lifting his leg..sorry he was so hard to photograph but I thought he was well worth a photo

A pansy nail file and some velvet flowers

A beautiful wrought iron bird cage and porcelain birdie

A tote bag bought in Paris

Vintage trim

Post christmas lunch setting

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas in Australia 2011


 Christmas Day on The Darling Downs
  Maximum temperature 25 celcius
 What a delightful day
    An australian summer christmas.
               At this time of year we usually suffer terrible heat.
This year it was lovely.
Praise the LORD for a beautiful day!

A quick but yummy breakfast
scrambled eggs,
smoked salmon,
egg mayo.
Very very delightful.

     DD and I. She is expecting her first child soon and
       we have not seen each other for a few months now.

My pressie from DD and SIL an old HMV transistor radio made in the 1960's.
DSIL found it at a garage sale.
DH got it working this's a bit crackly but I think I'll use it.
Thankyou DSIL.

Series one of my favourite australian tv series
The Sullivans
EEEKKK!! Such excitement.
It's just been released.
Ran for over 10 years in the 1970's and '80's.
Did I already say I'm excited?

And this wonderful DVD  Downton Abbey from my niece...
I've watched it all, already.
What a lovely thoughtful gift.

This little photo album from my Mum

This cute little journal from my sister in law

These beautiful face washers from my DD
Michael Buble CD

DD with her pressie, made by her DH.
It's a mirror behind the door.
Re-purposed from an old queensland silky oak ice chest.

DH and I with our pressie from DD and SIL
"A Grandparent's Book....Our Story, Our Life".

My DM with some of her hand made gifts

DD with a PJ top I thought was funny given her current condition.
Her baby is due early February 2012

My dutch oak sideboard

DD and SIL before leaving for their home today.
They had
 long three hour drive ahead of them
We really missed out son being with us for the day.
He works in another state and was told only four days before Christmas that he could not have the alloted public holidays.
He only had Christmas day itself off and was fortunate enough to be invited to lunch by a work mate. His wife is american so I'm sure our son was treated to a super delightful christmas luncheon.
We just hope he can be us with next year.
For lunch we had 8 at the table. My parents, my niece and my aunty joined DH, DD and SIL and I.
It was a lovely day.
In the background the girls are playing Pictionary.
We usually have a board game or two
play some carols
bit of a
jam around
Can you tell my piano is in my sewing room?
Just the way it has to be in this funny little house....
Hoping it's only temporary and we can move somewhere nicer soon.
Happy Christmas 2011

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Really annoyed!! Help required to restore my blog pictures.


 Isn't technology a wonderful thing?

So I recently bought a new 'smart' phone.
Wanted to get some 'apps'....
as you do...
In order to do that had to open a gmail account..
Did not want or need another email account
I opened
gmail account...

 thing all my blog photos appeared on my smart phone...
What the!!
Don't want or need them clogging up my phone's memory
deleted them
In doing so all the photos loaded onto my blog
over the course of it's 6 month life span

I am so cranky and annoyed, not to mention just plain bitterly disappointed.
Not to mention that now
gmail has
commandeered itself
primary email
I don't want that to be the case either
SO called 'smart' phone!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If it was so smart it should have asked my permission before doing any of this crap!
Can anyone offer any advice

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmas present.......banner for Jenny

sewing room
I made this banner for my friend Jenny.
It's a christmas present
I've made it for her sewing room
favourite colours
blue and yellow

decorated a little bottle
really cute 
Our Daily Bread
die cut
a Tim Holtz stamp on the lid.
I have filled it with buttons for her.
Love this
Tim Holtz spool stamp

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Merry Christmas from Australia

Christmas Banner

Love this new Spellbinder's banner diecut.

This has brightened up an area near the dining table

C H R I S T in Christmas

I thoroughly enjoyed making this cute christmas banner.
It only took about 90mins.
Happy Christmas all!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

A Red Floral Card

A red floral card inspired by Remembrance Day 2011
'Just a Note'
100 year old plus sheet music
Tim Holtz Distress Inks.
I tried out my new Martha Stewart all over punch
bottom border
underlayed some red shimmer paper to compliment the seam binding bow
the red flower.
Two beautiful JustRight stamps...
'MUSIC washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life'...

Some red floral stickers
corner gold stickers (distressed)
pearl bling
accented the centres
all over punched areas.

Once again
such fun
to make.
I'll add them to my stash
when the time is right
they will find their way
to a
new owners. 

Sunday, 4 December 2011

A 50th Birthday Card

Hello I want to share a special card I have made for my friend's 50th Birthday.
This is the year of turning 50 for me and some school friends
who I still keep in touch with.
This is the last one I will be making for 2011 as we have all turned 50 now.
I first met my friend in 1967 in grade one.
I was her bridesmaid in 1982.
I have tried to personalise the card by using seam binding for the bow in the same colour as the bridesmaid dress I wore at her wedding.

The sentiment a name her dad called her...
the little girl has a basket of eggs
Collecting the eggs is a job my friend had and I believe did not enjoy.
I JUST LOVE this Stampin' Up Easter Blossoms stamp set.
I have been dying to try it out since purchasing it on ebay a couple of weeks ago.
And it took me about 7 days to complete this card,
once again due to a combination of pain and working it all out as I went.
I never make the same thing twice and everything I make comes from the heart. I used a lot of techniques on this card. Inking, shading with chalks, layering and stamping under the focal images, tying a double bow the Amazing Paper Grace way, stamping, embossing, using lots of Spellbinders dies, Flower Soft for the little girl's bouquet, glittering up the scalloped frame around the little girl and using a final coating of Glossy Accents, pearl bling,
 ribbons secured with Scor Tape etc etc........
It is truly amazing how many products, techniques and effects go into one little card.
I enjoyed every minute of it!!!
Thankyou to all you wonderful people who release such wonderful products for us to use and enjoy when cardmaking.
It is amazing how much I have learnt in the last year and it is chiefly thanks to card making blogs and Youtube demonstrations.
When I think how my skills have expanded in 12 months it is mind boggling!