my life in the land down under

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Moving On

The following words are from a song that I found encouraging and meaningful a few years ago, when I was a new wife & step-mum. I heard it again recently and it still applies, though in different ways. It seemed appropriate to the start of a new year.

It’s time to open up the memories of your past
And its time to move on
It’s time to open up the shadows of your heart
And it’s time to move on

Cause it’s a great time to live and it’s time to
Stand up and be counted
It’s a great time to live and it’s time to
Stand up and be counted on

It’s time to open up and shed a little light
On your soul
Cause the box you put your heartache in got
Lost or swept out to sea
Now it’s time just to move on

Cause it’s a great time to live and it’s time to
Stand up and be counted
It’s a great time to live and it’s time to
Stand up and be counted on

It’s a long long road to carry on
I’ve got to stand up and be counted on
It’s a long long road and I’ve got to be strong.

It’s a long long road to carry on
I’ve got to stand up and be counted on
It’s a long long road and I’ve got to be strong.

It’s a great time to live and it’s time to
Stand up and be counted
It’s a great time to live and it’s time to
Stand up and be counted on

It’s a long long road to carry on
I’ve got to stand up and be counted on
It’s a long long road and I’ve got to be strong

It’s a long long road and I’ve got to be strong.

(Lyrics from ‘Stand Up’ by The Feelers – click on the link to see a video)

Several years ago we saw this group perform live, along with others – it was a good night.

The Feelers in concert #1

The Feelers in concert – lead singer

The Feelers in concert #2

Silhouetted musician

… But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Phillipians 3.13-14



Three Months

Its hard to believe that the Made with Love quilt (original design by Wildcraft Farm) had come to a standstill for that long – but yes, my last post was Block #8, in October 2012!

Today I finally completed Block #9. The stitched word on the original pattern was ‘Embrace’; I have replaced it with ‘Forgiveness’. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since October, including events and difficult relationships which are still challenging me to forgive, let go and move on. Taking the time to be creative certainly helps with this process, bringing hope and peace to replace the discouragement and anxiety I was feeling.

Block #9 appliqué and stitchery

Block #9 appliqué and stitchery

Block #9 appliqué

Appliquéd flowers & heart (some stitching yet to be done to complete the flowers)

Block #9 stitchery

Word for the day

Block #9 centre

Block #9 – centre part completed

Block #9 with borders

Block #9 with borders

Block #9 with squaring-up borders

Complete with squaring-up borders

Here’s to continued progress in 2013 – I have a deadline fast approaching!

The Quilt Project so far:

1 – Beginnings

2 – Quilting Lesson #1

3 – Attempts at Appliqué

4 – Words

5 – Quilting Lesson #2

6 – Words II – To The Bride & Groom

7 – Appliqué  Again

8 – Quilting Lesson #5 / Words III

9 – Quilting Lesson #6 / Words IV

10 – Out On My Own

11 – Quilt Project – Colour Choices

12 – The Next Step

13 – Slow and Steady (Wins the Race?)

14 – Showing Promise

15 – Two Ears


In An Ideal World

In an ideal world, I would have unlimited time (and money) to do everything I wanted to do.

I would be perfectly creative – quilt seams would never have to be undone and re-stitched. Quilts would come together quickly and beautifully.

Photographs would turn out exactly the way I’d envisioned them, with no need to use a polarizing filter (!). My photographs would be amazing and people would want to buy them, without trying to beat my prices down.

I would know how to do things instinctively, without having to learn them and making lots of mistakes along the way.

There would be no housework or other chores to be done – the house would clean and tidy itself (or never get dirty). Visitors would always take their shoes off at the door without being asked. The bed would never need making.

There would be no need to go grocery shopping. Delicious meals would appear miraculously on the table every night (my husband would probably disagree with this as he likes shopping and cooking!).

We could eat what we wanted without having to worry about our weight or the dentist bills. Dishes would never need washing.

My cup of tea would never get cold because I made it then got busy doing something else.

I wouldn’t break things, lose them, or forget where I put them.

Piles of paper wouldn’t build up on flat surfaces, but instead sort and file themselves. There would be no bills to pay.

The cat would never miss the dirtbox; in fact he would always go outside so there was never a need to empty the box.

I would never have to run to get the clothes off the washing line because it suddenly started raining, when five minutes beforehand the sun was shining.

No weeds would grow in the garden. In fact, we could have the garden landscaped beautifully at no cost. The neighbours would offer to put up a new fence on the boundary at their expense. The same neighbours would never be noisy when I was trying to sleep after a night shift. Better still, there would be no night shifts.

The traffic lights would always be on green when I was running late.

I could have all the sleep I wanted without feeling guilty, and always wake feeling refreshed.

I would be energetic and highly-motivated, and never be in a bad mood, sad or irritable.

I could say whatever I liked in my blog, honestly sharing my thoughts.  I could be real and honestly share what was on my heart, without fear of offending anyone or bringing ridicule on myself.

Everyone would like, understand and appreciate me (or, if there were difficult people I wouldn’t have to deal with them). There would be no misunderstandings, arguments, frustration, resentment or rejection. I would like myself.

Family relationships (of all kinds) would be loving, supportive and respectful.

We would win the lottery  – without having to buy a ticket. Or, we would have a great income without having to work (except if we wanted to).

We could follow our dreams; pay off the mortgage, keep the house and buy a motorhome, travel…

On a more serious note, there would be no child abuse; car accidents; disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis; cancer; or children dying of starvation. 😦

I’ve just scratched the surface of what my ideal world might look like. Many of the above comments are a bit tongue-in-cheek, but who hasn’t dreamed of a world where everything was right, easy and beautiful. Especially when going through difficult times – and I know the difficulties I find myself facing are comparatively small. Most things I’ve mentioned are only minor annoyances, with a few majors thrown in for good measure. I’m sure everyone could add to this list.


The perfect world might also be very boring. Where would we be without challenges? What would I talk (or write) about?

I guess the difficulties and struggles (both minor and major) are intended to make me grow into a better person – and I could certainly do with being more patient, forgiving and humble at times. Not to mention disciplined and organised. And happy!

I’ll keep working on it. 🙂

If you are struggling through life at the moment, what helps you cope with it? What would your ideal world look like?

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Out On My Own

A beginner no more – I’m out on my own now!

It’s a month since our last class and I’ve made slow progress, having finally finished the ‘Made with Love’ Quilt Block #5 just a couple of days ago.

This block was more of a challenge because it involved three words. The original Wildcraft Farm pattern uses ‘Beauty / Smitten / Pleasure’ but I have changed them to ‘Love / Joy / Peace’. This is a reference to the Bible verses describing the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5.22, all things we would like to have more of for a stronger marriage relationship.

There was a bit of fiddling around getting the words sized correctly for the spaces they were allocated. I briefly wondered if I might have to make those spaces smaller and re-design the whole block – but that sounded too much like hard work, for someone who is really still a beginner!

There were also two appliqué panels to sew, and another series of small strips to put together. Again, getting the measurements exact was tricky – it only takes a tiny amount of inaccuracy per seam to make the finished block noticeably too big or small. There was some frustration involved but I got there in the end!

The fiddly bits – stitching, appliqué panels and strips – took me ages to finish, but I loved the speed with which the block came together once they were done.

While putting the block together, I suddenly realised I didn’t have enough of the green ‘squaring-up border’ fabric to complete the whole twelve blocks. When I visited the quilt shop to buy some more they had just sold the last of it… but I was able to get some other fabric in a very similar colour, so decided to mix and match them throughout the quilt. After all it is a ‘scrappy’ quilt so I can get away with this, and tell you all it was planned from the beginning! 🙂

Quilt block #5 stitchery and appliqué

Block #5 with borders added

The completed block with squaring-up borders (just needs a stem stitched on the flower!)

Here’s to some faster progress in the near future!

The Quilt Project – progress so far:

1 – Beginnings

2 – Quilting Lesson #1

3 – Attempts at Appliqué

4 – Words

5 – Quilting Lesson #2

6 – Words II – To The Bride & Groom

7 – Appliqué  Again

8 – Quilting Lesson #5 / Words III

9 – Quilting Lesson #6 / Words IV

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Sunday Inspiration, August 12th 2012

Here’s a few thoughts I’ve come across recently that I’ve found encouraging and inspiring. Hope you do too!

A quote used by Sandy Puc’ on her CreativeLive photography seminar last week:

“This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk the forest and be part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.” – Susan Polis Schultz

Thought for the Week from the hospital chaplain:
“When you harbour Bitterness
Happiness will dock elsewhere.”

How to reduce stress in your life and make time for what’s really important by adding margin…

Being happy and kind wins over having the housework done perfectly…

And in relation to something I posted a few weeks ago here: Whither Thou Goest … what’s around the corner?