"Let me do the smiling for both of us"

Do you remember the episode of The Simpsons where Lisa is too sad to play dodgeball, & Marge tells her, "Always be yourself...From now on, let me do the smiling for both of us." It's one of my favourite episodes - so sweet & sad.

Browsing some of my favourite blogs, it's easy to assume that other people's lives are an endless parade of sunshine & lollipops. I absolutely understand why people blog about nice things - lovely, inspiring, aspirational things - it's natural to want to put your best self forward, especially if your blog is a marketing vehicle for your business. I sure don't want my blog to be a littany of gripes either!

But I just want to put this out there... If you are dealing with illness, either your own or someone you care for, or have financial troubles, dysfunctional relationships, you're feeling discouraged, unmotivated, or you're lonely, or just happen to be going through some stuff at the moment...you are most definitely not alone!

If you're slumped on the sofa in your PJs at 3.00pm watching Love Boat, contemplating cornflakes for dinner, while it seems the rest of the world is ambitiously setting New Year's resolutions & projects...just remember that hardly anyone's life really does look like a spread from a glossy design magazine. I bet that underneath the gloss, there's a load of junk shoved in the cupboards & dust bunnies under the bed. Perhaps an old tube of athlete's foot cream in the bathroom cabinet or some unidentifiable mouldy lump stuck at the back of the fridge.

There are loads of corny, motivational quotes out there that I'm sure you don't want to hear, but I quite like the succinctness of this one from that dogged old curmudgeon Winston Churchill: "If you're going through hell, keep going."

Here's to everyone who's had a cruddy 2011 - may 2012 be less cruddy! Yay!

A Handmade Christmas

Did you have a good Christmas? My aim was to have a relaxing, stress-free time, but it never quite happens that way does it? The last few days before Christmas were a flurry of making & baking.

We decided to make each other presents this year - here are a few pics of the things I made. I wanted to make things I don't normally do & I used vintage graphics instead of my own artwork - I wanted to give everyone something they wouldn't be expecting from me. Despite the last minute rush, I really had a lot of fun making fudge, shortbreads, soy candles, compact mirrors, lip balms & potpourri sachets. It wasn't so much fun making chocolate truffles...they turned out a little lumpy & I somehow managed to get chocolate everywhere. I received some beautiful gifts in return. My sister Cass & her boyfriend Dave planted me a herb garden & made delicious walnut shortbreads, & my best friend Mark & his fiancé Stevie made gift boxes of bath & beauty products with the most gorgeous packaging.

I hope you had a chance to catch up with the people you love & had a wonderful time! I'm looking forward to doing nothing for the rest of today...maybe some reading & DVD watching, & a sandwich made from leftover glazed seitan roast with cashew lemon & thyme stuffing. Yum!

Happy (Belated) '08

Well here we are, a week & a half into 2008 already & I'm only just getting around to wishing you all a Happy New Year. I do have an excuse...hot on the heels of Christmas, I came down with the flu & today has been the first day that I've felt halfway human again. So anyway, please accept my best New Year greetings in the form of a big ol' wobbly bowl of yellow custard & jelly - appropriate, eh? :) In other news, I was featured yesterday on the modamuse design blog & got such a lovely write up, I'm flattered, thrilled & giddy - all at once. Thank you Modamuse!

I've been playing around with scissors & glue (no glitter - sorry) putting the finishing touches to my extra-special super-duper combined Dec/Jan giveaway. I'll be announcing it as soon as I've finished making the prizes, which should be in the next couple of days.

Don't forget, to be eligible for the giveaway, you need to be a subscriber to my mailing list - okay?

See you in a few days with the giveaway announcement & some updates to my Etsy shop!

Happy (Belated) Holidays

I really really wanted to make an extra special Christmas post on my blog, but alas, last minute wholesale orders & Etsy craziness meant I didn't have a minute to spare. Sadly, I missed out on doing a December giveaway!

Never fear, I have a special New Year's giveaway planned with two prizes to make up for the non-existent Christmas one.


Stay tuned for the giveaway announcement in the first week of 2008!

Do you like my little wooden cowboy puppet? One of my grandmas died when I was three, & years later, my mum gave me a Christmas stocking my gran had bought for me, & this little guy was one of the toys in it. He's one of my favourite possessions & hangs near my desk so I see him everyday!

Not specifically Christmassy is this fabulous Little Audrey cartoon...but it reminds me of Christmas.

Just show me the hard-hearted curmudgeon who can resist dancing cupcakes!

PS. To be eligible for my monthly giveaways, you need to subscribe to my Mailing List!