Monday, November 1, 2010

Mum.( Long post )

HI all. I haven't blogged lately. I wasn't sure where to start, but here goes.


Don't read this if you are on your way out or only have 5 minutes. It's a little LONG.

On Friday the 17th of September, I lost the most influential and wonderful woman in my life-my Mum.
I started this blog just for her to keep up on our lives when we lived so far away.
I wondered whether to continue, but I think I will as I find it helpful to get my thoughts out of my head and onto "something".
Mum was a lovely lady and although she could really frustrate me like all Mother's, I loved her with every fibre of my being.
Mum had a brain tumour that was benign, but large and in a not so great place. It affected balance and memory just to name a few things. Mum was receiving treatment and was looking at an operation to remove it (of which she was terrified). Sadly, the operation wasn't to be and after a fall where she hit her head on the car, the trauma to her head (unbeknown to her ) had started the tumour bleeding, and in the end caused a massive stroke which ended her life.
I spoke to her every 2nd day as she was struggling with her health as a direct result to the tumour, and asked her if she was sure that thing wasn't leaking......... It was.
Early Friday morning at 6.45am, my beautiful Mum left us for her heavenly home. That day-that moment, I felt the gears of my life change.
I am now an adult.
We (I have a brother and a sister) wanted Mum's funeral to be a celebration of her life as she lived a life worth celebrating, so we set to work uncovering "Mum" and the things that made her, 'her'. We have been so richly blessed by what we found, and what we already knew.
Some people go through their lives wondering if they were loved. Mum told us all the time and going through her computer, she had written the "memoirs" of her life. What a huge gift to us.
Mum was much loved by all who met her-she had a way with people. I have never known a person to be such an accurate judge of character and to have the capacity to love everyone.
I miss her immensely, and can't imagine a life without her.
My darling Dad has to start again as well after 57 years of marriage. THAT is the kicker for me. Dad on his own. I can't imagine how you would do that after so many years with the love of your life. He hasn't thrown the towel in by a long shot and is learning to cook and has had lessons in the washing machine previously in the year by Mum. Almost like she was training him for this time.
I wonder if she knew, or made a conscious decision not to seek medical treatment. I will never know, and in the long run, it won't matter. Her life had become quite difficult and she was sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Mum's faith in God never faltered, and I know this by a couple of conversations I had with her. I was brought up in a Christian family, and I know what happens when you die. I am not afraid, nor an I concerned as to where Mum has 'gone', and I know she will be waiting for me when it is my turn. Her 'interim mode of transport'might be in the earth, but her soul is long gone to a far better place than this one.
To those that have supported us, whether with prayers, loving thoughts, cards, phone calls, food and presence, we THANK YOU.
Mum is in heaven now, free of all the burdens that weighed her down in her earthly life, but she left us with this poem she wrote, and I would like to share it here.














Clara Allen April 2010

Thank you,

Stay Beautiful


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Creative Share...............finally

I have been working lots, so the blogging is not coming back into swing like I hoped it would.
Here's a really quick share of a card I made a few days ago (last weekend) using Tim Holtz distress inks and a permanent mask technique I found on
Do yourself a favour and check her out.
She deals in simple and elegant.

Two things I have in bucket-loads, so I can relate!!!!!

Any questions?? No?? Sweet. Have a fabulous day
Stay Beautiful,
K xx

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Family that plays together.....................

I love it that my two older men in the family do something together.
They play baseball.
A lot of the time the older one pitches and the younger one catches (the older one feels too "old" some days)
They encourage each other and there's a bit of banter going on most of the time. Bottom line is, they can count on each other when a play is being made. They don't need to look where the other one is - they just know they will be there.
I love watching them play, and I have a million pics of them. This one, however was taken 2 weeks ago., and it would be one of my faves.
I love the look on their faces.
They both love the game, and love each other.
They felt the need to play in their old Tamworth uniforms to make it an "All Stars" team.
I don't know, but there was a lot of "glory slides" done by the old one that day. He said it was the uniform. "LIKE A COUGAR"!!!!
Stay beautiful,
K xx

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day to all the Dad's out there. Hope your day is great!

Special shout out goes to my own Darling Dad. Love ya Pickle!! And to my husband. You're a wonderful Dad babe, and I love you!!! Mwahhhh

I also had a spurt of creativity starting with breakfast. Eggs Benedict on Turkish Bread.
I forgot the spinach leaves.
And the ham.
And also the cream.
Oh, and I forgot to fry up the mushrooms I had saved for the occasion.
BUT, my hubby was just stoked it wasn't toast!!! Tasted divine, and didn't need the extra fat of the cream after all.
I didn't mention the baby spinach leaves, so he didn't know they were missing.
Substituted the ham with bacon. And the mushrooms, well just forgot them and they stayed forgotten until about mid morning. D'OH!!
Never mind.
Spent an unexpected afternoon with our other fave family and did chip sangas for dinner.

Managed to make a few cards too. Will share that tomorrow.
Until then,
Stay Beautiful
K xx

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Deliciously Decadent

Hi All,
Have spent the day in the kitchen (and laundry) and was experimenting with yeast cooking. So far this week, we have made our own pasta, naan bread, pizza bases, ham and cheese scrolls and these little beauties. YAY for Cinnamon Scrolls!!!!!

Click on the above link for the recipe.

It makes bulk rolls, so put a few trays in the freezer....if they last that long~
It took all day, with the million other things I had on the go as well, but they are SO worth it. Hopefully the link works, and you can experience these gems for yourself.
They are taken from a blog I follow called The Pioneer Woman.
She cooks, home schools her 4 children and lives on a "ranch" miles from anywhere in Oaklahoma USA. Ree Drummond is her name and she has a wicked wit and take on life. I enjoy her blog daily, and it's worth a read. She also a self taught photographer, and her pics and tutorials have improved my own photography a lot. Not that you'd know from these pics.
Until next time,
Stay beautiful,
K xx

Monday, August 9, 2010


My Beloved is away for 2 weeks.
I really miss him.
I want my feet tickled and my back rubbed. I want to lay on his lap on the lounge while he pretends I'm not there.
I NEED to sleep. I have even conned one of the kids (the smallest one) to sleep with me so my bed isn't so big and lonely.
I want someone to annoy when the adds are on TV, and someone to make me the best cup of tea ever when I'm not annoying him in the adds.
Hurry home babe, it's not the same without you.
You have only been gone 1 day........
Stay Beautiful,
K xx
P.s I thought it might be timely to remember all the families missing loved ones serving in the military overseas. I know lots of these families, and the ones left behind show incredible strength and resilience and quite frankly, you all should be called "Home Heroes".

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Embossed card

I thought I should publish something has been a while.
This is a card I made up quickly for a birthday.
It uses a resist technique.
I stamped the image on white card with versamark ink and embossed with white ink.
I took my Tim Holtz distress inks and applicator and smooshed all over the card in a colour combo I liked.
In this case I have used Perfect Pearls mixed with water in a magic mister and spritzed over the card for a pearly finish.
Then you take a bit of damp rag and carefully wipe the ink off the embossed image to make it shiny. Voila!
One card.
Stay beautiful


It was Andrew's birthday last week, he was 39.
It has hit me that we are nearly 40.
When did this happen?
I feel the same as I did in my 20's, so I am not sure when the time was so sneaky that I looked up and it was almost time for me to be 40.
I remember when I thought 30 year olds were.......OLD.
I revealed my thoughts to Andrew when we went to bed and lamented that I have got almost to 40 and have done nothing.
"I'm a wife and a Mum and all that, but remember when we were young ( and naive ) and we swore we were going to make a difference in the world? I wanted to make a difference to lives and change things I hated about the world, and I would polish my rose coloured glasses daily."
To this my husband said in his quiet manner, "Kell, you have changed MY world, made a difference, and made it so much better." Cue my self indulgent tears. Sometimes, he can be
Never underestimate the difference you can make in someone's life. I think sometimes the smallest acts are the most powerful. And for the record, he changed MY world and made it so much better.
I have a sneaking suspicion, that 40 will be my mid-life crisis. Watch here for the memo.
Stay Beautiful,
K xx


Amanda had her braces put on 2 weeks ago now.
There was very little drama and very little pain or ulcers in her mouth.
She is a trouper for sure.
I don't think the braces look too bad, but MAN, does she have some hardware in her mouth at the moment!!!! In the pic where her mouth is open, look carefully and see the expander across the top of her mouth. She has had that in for 2 months and will get it out just before Christmas. It looks a little like a horses bit. It has caused her more issues than the actual braces, with food and drink flying out at uncontrolled intervals. Combine that with all the wire and brackets, and there is sure a mouthful. It affects her speech a little and the kids at school are giving her a little grief, but nothing she can't handle.
We have 21 months to go before they come off and quite a few monthly payments! I SO should have been an orthodontist!!!!!
We still think she is beautiful.
If there was no change, there would be no butterflies.
Stay Beautiful,
K xx

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Just for Russ

After a few less than complimentary phone calls (from an anonymous source), re my blogging frequency, I thought I would post a few photo montages to update you on our life.
Is anyone there?
*crickets chirping*
Is this thing on?
*tap tap*

The first is a series of pics from a fundraiser the kids high school so every year. It's theatre restaurant. You buy tickets, you go and get a meal and a show.
Josh was on the catering team to cook the meal, Amanda was in the show. They rely on audience participation, so Ethan and I were in the show too.
It was a hoot and Amanda is playing a character called Dr Who?
Stay beautiful,
K xx

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I never thought I'd say it, but....................

Wow, another camping weekend has come and gone all too quickly. We are SO lucky to live in such a breathtakingly beautiful country and it really is a privilege to be able to get out into it.

We camped with the usual crowd, with another family adding to the fun. We also had a few ring-ins with the big girls bringing friend that had never camped before. After the initial shock of a chemical toilet "with a view", and a makeshift shower, they coped great and they said they had a good time. I think they would like to come again.

Just a few stills of Keelbottom Creek up in the Herveys Ranges and a few happy snaps of various things. There was a rise above the creek and we camped there.

Some Army snipers wandered in for a bath and there were a few bare bums, much to the girls' amusement.

Fishing was SUCCESSFUL with a few sooty grunters straying onto lines. Nothing big enough to eat, but the kids loved the thrill of reeling something did my husband (he rarely catches anything).

The kids all took off up the creek and built a fabulous bridge out of old logs and bark. We all trooped up there after our messenger and all had a turn at crossing it. They all worked together and were amused for a good few hours. Sure beats computers and televisions. I don't think there was 1 fight between all the kids for the entire weekend, and that's good going in my book. The 3 dogs we took were great as well.

I never thought I'd say it while living here, but MAN was it COLD the first night and morning. I think 6 degrees was the temp and to us it felt like -6!! I think we have acclimatised.

Enjoy the pics and I will try to blog more often (sorry Russ).

Stay Beautiful,

K xx

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Roger that, Mojo

I think I felt a rush of wings and air on my face. Don't panic though, I just think my mojo is returning to land after being in a holding pattern.

Finally a share of something creative instead of "waffling".

I love this pic of my Mum, Me and my Sister. It was taken last month and I LOVE it. (Did I say that already?)

I am so blessed to have them in my life. They are my sounding boards, my light and shade, my sometimes critics, my perspective givers and my greatest cheer squad. They have been there for me when I haven't been able to be there for myself, and this is a little tribute to the 2 I love the most.

I love you both more than you know and I can't imagine life without you.

This LO is far more 'tizzy' than I usually do. I wanted to celebrate womanhood and girliness in all it's glory. I also wanted it to look a little vintage, cause we are all gettin' on in years!! LOL


Stay Beautiful,

K xx

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Maybe Creative

See this?
This is my desk.
It is covered in 'stuff'.
I am almost sure that it is creative 'stuff" and I will make it into 'something' today..................maybe.
Stay Beautiful,
K xx

Happy Mothers Day

Hi all.
Happy Mother's Day, and I hope you get to do something REALLY special today (and tomorrow too), you deserve it.
My day started at 5.50am. Yes, you heard right. My little man was so excited about Mothers Day he could barely contain himself. For those that know me, to say I am NOT a morning person is a gross understatement. The sun wasn't even up, and the moon was exhausted. I sent him back to bed for an hour. He appeared exactly an hour later and I was ok with that. I had had an hour to leave dreamland and crawl to the surface and rub the sleep from my eyes.
He was just so excited, and it was all I could do to make him NOT give me the gifts he had bought at the mothers day stall at school last week. He had hidden them 3 times in different spots so I wouldn't find them.
The best thing, for me, about Mother's Day is the little things. I LOVE the fact that Ethan has agonised over the table of gifts and selected the ones that he thought I would REALLY love. With $4 (I gave him $5 and he bought me change, would you believe) he bought me a little trinket box that smells like perfume (ie someones Nanna donated it), a lollipop with an attachment that can be a flower AND a butterfly if you spin it round, AND a candle so that when "you get romantic with Dad you can light it"!! How funny is that? I love it. I also received a beautiful wooden box that my girl had created at school. It is 2 types of wood and she has done a superb job.I was hoping she would give that to me, and you all know I love handmade gifts.
Also received was a pottery planter to put herbs in and matching bag of potting mix.
Breakfast in bed was served by my husband (even though I'm not HIS mother) and was helped to be eaten by Ethan. It's ok though, all the crumbs went on Andrew's side.......LOL

Enjoy the day, stay beautiful
K xx

Thursday, May 6, 2010

More Pics of God's Country

Just a few more pics relating to the previous post. I especially love the one of the kids asleep on the way home, but who doesn't love kids asleep????

Stay Beautiful,


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Our (BIG) Country

I am so glad that my Great-Grandfather (on my mother's side) was a merchant seaman from Sweden. I am so glad that he came to Australia one day..........and decided to jump ship............and marry an Australian girl.......................and thus become an illegal immigrant.

I am eternally grateful he decided to do this in Australia, because seriously, in his line of work he could have picked anywhere to get off and stay. I'm glad he didn't pick Russia (too cold) and I'm glad he didn't pick India (too hot). I really love our country and I suspect that it's true that we live in the best country in the world. We love to whinge and grizzle about or politicians and the like, but seriously people..........have some perspective, it could be so much worse.

We have just had long weekends in a row. The most recent one, May Day, we decided to have an adventure weekend but do it close to home. The boys were organising it, so the girls booked the camp site at Bivouac Junction, 110klm SW of Townsville. This is one of the more beautiful camp sites we have been to - on the junction (is that the right word?) of the mighty Burdekin and Fanning Rivers. Because the guys organised it, the girls did all the shopping and much of the packing. We thought it timely to use the men for the 'heavy' stuff. We borrowed some kayaks and headed off. You can see the flood marker in one of the photos. The 2009 floods are 2nd from the top and peaked at 20.75metres. That's a whole lot of water. It was only outdone by the 1946 floods that peaked at a metre higher.The campground we were at would have been totally covered. As you can see by the river pics, there are still trees flattened in the middle of the river and debri is piled up in places ,and the silt goes all the way up the bank. VERY impressive.

As I get around our country more and more, I am struck not only by the sheer size of it, but awed by how quickly the landscapes change. This is certainly a beautiful country and we should all get out and see more of it.

I digress though.

As you can see by the (sometimes awful) photos, a great time was had by all. We were joined by a couple of grey nomads who we took under our wing and invited them into our campfire. It was helpful that they were Mack D's parents ( hi Doreen and Rob ) and they had EVERYTHING we had forgotten in their caravan. And I do mean EVERYTHING!. Even when the lettuce froze, Doreen and Rob were able to come to the rescue. A paddle broke and we needed araldite- Doreen and Rob

again. Although they DID fall down once on the usefulness scale.

Miss C forgot her bag of clothes........(good one), but wearing her Grandmother's gear just wasn't appealing to a 14 year old. Doreen couldn't help there. Off to Charters Towers for a couple of pairs of undies, and a few bargain tops.

I am grateful that we have the opportunity to do these things with our kids and friends. I am grateful our country doesn't dictate to us whether we can camp under the stars or not, and I am certainly grateful we can explore our country in relative safety and not worry that out kids will get

a leg blown off by a landmine when they venture off the track exploring.

I am eternally grateful to have such wonderful friends to share this all with. Long live the Screaming Gophers Tours!!

I just LOVE Australia......'nuff said.

Stay Beautiful


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

80 years young

My Dad has just turned 80.

He doesn't look 80 and he certainly doesn't act 80.

We travelled 12 hours to be with him on the weekend before his special day.

We were joined by numerous other family


We had a wonderful time, but too short as always.

Happy Birthday Pickle!!! You are loved by many. xoxoxoxoxo

The End

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Harry

It has been a while since my last blog.

You know how it is when you have so much to tell, and don't know where to start?

Fiji, hurricanes, illness, work and family. There are a million blogs to be done about all that, but today I want to talk about my baby.

He sprang forth from me 8 years ago- Where has the time gone? I always joke that if I'd had him 1st, I would have had 6 babies. Thank God I didn't. There's something about the 3rd child. I was more relaxed, I knew what I was doing. I KNEW dirt wasn't lethal and neither was crying. I loved every minute of him. His smell, his little sucking motion when he was asleep, his happy manner when he was awake-he was always smiling and laughing, and so very sweet and caring.

THEN, he went to school and thought he ought to pick up every other child's revolting habits, and bring them home. I particularly loathe the answering back and sarcasm bit.

TODAY, though, there was none of that to be baby turned 8 at exactly 11.40am this morning. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I think my brain remembers the labour and birth on purpose so that I don't feel the need to go back and do it all again.

TODAY my baby was the sweet and gentle boy I remember, devoid of all nasty habits. As he snuggled into bed with me well before daylight this morning, I caught a hint of baby smell still on him- and as his warm little, sleepy body moulded to mine and a little arm came round my neck I can forget all the "other" stuff and remember what joy he has bought into our lives. Real joy.

Happy 8th Birthday Harry, we love you so much.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Adventure Sunday

Another Screaming Gophers tour.

We got out and about to enjoy some of our beautiful country again on Sunday. This trip was to Wallaman Falls, just West of Ingham.

I was struck with the beauty of a changing landscape. From scrubby country to lush cane fields, to rainforest's growing in a complete canopy over the road, it is so beautiful. I am developing a new appreciation for our land. I also love how when we were going through the rain forest, the kids wound down all the windows to catch "that" smell. You know, that humid, wet, a little rotting, but still alive smell of rain forests. They all commented how it reminded them of Dorrigo on the NSW plateau. I thought the forest reminded me of Yabbra State Forest on the NSW North Coast. Many car trips were taken through there when I was a child (with Mum & Dad )to get to where we were going. I recall the bellbirds, the whipbirds and scrub turkeys. I, too, wound down the window to savour the small all those long years ago. I remember the narrow, winding roads and we would often encounter a fully laden log truck taking up most of the road. It called for some "creative" driving on Dad's part.

But, I digress. Back to the waterfall.

It is the largest single drop waterfall in Australia, and with the wet season still pumping, we thought it worth a look.

Spectacular, is all I can say. The drop was amazing, but the amount of water going over the edge was mind blowing. The spray was coming back up about 1/2 way. We just got there, took about 6 photos, and DOWN CAME THE RAIN. I don't mean small drops either, they were big, fat, hard drops.

Going with the theory, that you can only get SO wet before it ceases to matter, we pressed on with the exploring. I fed a leech. Ewwwww! Forgot how gross those things were. Don't worry though, I took the salt............nobody was laughing at me after that!!

We fast discovered that if we limited our lifestyle in the wet season, be wouldn't be living. Some things are just better in the wet.

This was one of them.

Stay beautiful,

K xx