30 Dec 2012

Lets Go Fishing

It's been a while since the crafty crew went fishing, a family outing that has become a thing of the past. Old rusty rods and lack of time is no excuse I know, but at least I am admitting my guilt and I am prepared to mend my ways. More family time is high on my agenda for the new year, but hey, why wait till then ? I am no longer going to be the mum who says "not now boys" any longer, I have put too many things on the back burner lately and I am going to put a stop to it now !! we are going to live life in the fast lane in 2013.

So when the boys woke on Christmas morning to brand new rods and tackle boxes, the first thing they wanted to know was when are we going fishing ?

So this morning bright and early we packed the truck, and headed off to try out the new rods. Smiles were on faces, spirits were high, we are a family that loves to fish....the peacefulness, the togetherness, there is something magical and calming about throwing in a line.

The gorgeous beach sky at 6 am
It was windy, to windy to fish really. But that didn't stop us. The sky was fairly clear and the sun was peaking through so we decided to carry on in the hope that the wind would die down.

The boys were eager, they were on a mission to catch dinner, I was living in hope that, that would be the case, there is nothing like a feast of freshly caught fish.

After a refresher course on "how to bait the hook" from Dad, the boys found their own space on the beach to cast their rods, faces plastered in huge smiles and loads of determination to succeed.

Eager to cast
                             




Reminding the youngest crafty member many times over that to be able to catch something his rod has to stay in the water for longer than a minute or two he needs to work on his patience became my morning repetitive motto...the eager beaver was convinced he had a fish every five seconds so reeling in the line became his favorite pass time.

The fish were not biting, the clouds began to roll in and after about half an hour the rain came. We were drenched, but the boys determination was not, we continued to try our luck....
I gave up and walked the beach annoying the boys taking photos that's my prerogative

The rain continued to come and go, so did the bait with nothing to show for it. We decided to move on and try to find somewhere with a little more shelter, it was not to be.

In all honesty the quote "we did more fishing then catching" really applied to us today......

I don't know a whole lot about fishing, but I know that there is fish in that darn ocean, where they are is the issue.

We will return later in the week, when the rain has moved on and the wind has died down. I am determined that my boys will get the chance to catch em, clean em, cook em and eat em....

The fish and weather will not defeat the crafty crew !!!!

We will be back 
                 

29 Dec 2012

Are You Ready For A " Blogtastic" 2013 ?

Has it only been a week ???
It seems as though it has been much longer since I switched on little pink my laptop, and wrote down the frivolous thoughts in my mind.
I've missed it I must say, but there are certain times in life that other things must take precedence over a mothers ramblings......Don't you agree ?

I am back !!
After a fabulous Christmas with family and friends, to much pudding, far to much drink
#hiccup
and a few days R&R. It's time to gather my thoughts and return to the "blogging world" and get ready for a "blogtastic" 2013.

I don't know about you, but I am SO ready to turn my back on 2012. I have honestly had enough of what this year has thrown at my family and I am determined to get my "mojo" back and push my way through the final days, and say farewell to a year that saw many difficult challenges come our way....

2013 is a new beginning, a fresh year, and I am going to throw myself at it with "gusto" and make it a year that I will never forget......

Look out 2013, Crafty is going to make the best of you, I can promise you that !!!

Can you believe it's been six months ???
Six months since Craftypjmum became more than just a nagging little dream, six months since my #BBFF best blogging friend forever Jules gave me a swift kick in the butt, loads and loads of encouragement and an unbelievable amount of help, to make this dream a reality, and for that I will be eternally grateful.
The support so far has been amazing, such beautiful comments left on my posts have given me the confidence to continue writing and blabbering on in my own "crafty world" and though I may never be a "blogging queen" with hundreds of followers, I am most certainly very content with where I am, it's been a giant leap of faith for me, and one that I am excited to explore and gain more knowledge if my mushy brain will allow

2013 is going to bring with it some exciting personal and blogging challenges that I am setting for myself. My goal is to share with you, each and every step of my  personal journey, and to continue writing about my hectic life of raising/living/clawing my way through each day with my teenage sons.....
I hope that those of you who have joined me so far, continue on this ride along side me, and if you are new to my small part of the blogging world, welcome, and please take the time to say hi ......

Lets get ready to rock 2013 together like no year has ever been rocked before !!!
Are you ready ???
Are you up for the challenge ???





21 Dec 2012

Family Traditions, Making Memeories

A cup of love
A pinch of sugar
A spoon full of Christmas spirit

It's that time of year again !! It's time to get cracking in the kitchen and whip up some of those delicious Christmas treats.

I can taste them now ........
White Christmas
Rocky Road
Rum Balls and Christmas puddings
Just to name a few.

It's a tradition in the Crafty household. Each year those of us who still get excited about family traditions spend the whole day baking up a storm. Stirring, measuring, baking and of course taste testing (we do have to make sure that the balance of ingredients is just right) these delicious treats
while Christmas Carols play merrily in the background. It's a magical time.
I love it, and although my eldest three boys are less and less enthusiastic about spending time in the kitchen with their mum, I am sure that it is a family tradition that they will remember from their childhood for many years to come.

This year it was left up to just me and the youngest Crafty member, to get elbow deep in chocolate :) wearing our Christmas aprons and stopping every now and then to belt out a Christmas tune on the "Merry Okee" microphone, we had a wonderful day filled with laughter, music and of course baking.



A memory I will cherish forever...............  

Linking up this Christmas with the lovely Grace for #FYBF



           

19 Dec 2012

Some Say Blood Is Thicker Then Water, I Say, That Depends !

Family.....
That word alone provokes many different feelings for many people. Being part of a family is wonderful and the love that is shared within families is something that everyone deserve to have. But sometimes I think many of us take family for granted.
Grandparents, parents, siblings, husbands, wives and children. Having the love that comes with family is something that should be cherished and held dear.

My childhood was "typical" for a broken home. Weekends at my fathers and split holidays. Being an only child made it lonely and it was hard to cope with it all on my own (I was only 9 and felt that I had no one to turn to) as many young children do when their parents split, I thought that it was in someway my fault....the minds of the innocent play tricks.

Anyhoo enough of that......

The reason for this post is that I am hurt, I am angry and I feel the need to lash out. Circumstances that are totally out of my control are happening, and I am feeling isolated, pushed aside.
See for many years now my father (biological) and I have had a rocky relationship. Without going into to much detail, we are basically no longer on speaking terms. We use to do the mandatory Birthday, Fathers Day, Easter and Christmas phone calls and cards but that has also stopped along with the fact that he no longer acknowledges my children (to be honest, I am totally unsure as to why this is) for a few years now through Face Book and with the contact that I have with other family members, I know how much he "adores" my step sisters kids and that he does so much for and with them....he and my sons would pass each other on the street as if they were complete strangers. This hurts more then words could ever say.
It's been a hard, long road to let go of this, and I am not sure that I ever really will.

Anyhoo moving on, I have got side tracked with my anger......

The reason for this post and my provoked anger is that my Grandfather (Bio Dads father) has had another stroke, he is really not doing well, things are looking very bleak. When the phone rang and it was my father I instantly knew that something was wrong since we have had no contact since the last time my Pop was ill some months back.
I live in another state, and my heart is breaking to know that I may never see my Pop again, I also know that it would be very hard to go and face matters head on, and for that I am torn......
But no matter what is going on with the relationship between my father and I, I don't think that it's to much to ask that I be kept informed, I am after all his only true Grand Daughter and I want to know how he is progressing every step of the way. I should not have to find out everything via Face Book statuses, I should not be left out of this unfolding family tragedy.

Am I expecting to much for my phone calls to be returned ?
Am I being selfish that I cried like a baby when I read how many people were giving my step sister sympathy and lending her support while I am being left out in the cold ?
That it took a Face Book status to tell me that it is likely he will not be going home again ?
Am I expecting to much ?

I am an emotional wreck, if I could change the past I would, but I cant. I know that we are both at fault, but I should not have been the only one making the effort trying to mend things for years on end all on my own, it takes both parties to communicate and other people need to back off and keep their noses out of it...I've given up on ever having a "good" relationship with my father again, but in the end we are still family, we are blood, and that is still, and will always be my grandfather, and that will never change.

May God be with you and let you know that I have always loved you Pop, we have shared some wonderful times together and you need to stay strong. Know that even though I am far away and not by your side, that I am holding your hand tight in mine......

Keep fighting.....
xxxx

18 Dec 2012

My Christmas Wish List 2012

TAG your it !!

Thanks Mrs Bumpy :) and also thanks to Jess of essentiallyjess.com the lovely lady who apparently started this whole game of Christmas tag sometime in the last few weeks. I must have been living under a rock, because before I got tagged I had NO idea that it was in motion.....nothing unusual I guess, I am often in my own world, off with the fairies or at this time of year I guess that I am off with the elves  :)

So even though I was tagged roughly a week ago sorry it has taken me this long to post  I finally have the time to sit and think for a moment about what it is that I truly want.
I mean if its no expense spared, the world is my oyster .... right ?

So let the wishing begin .....

My first wish didn't need much thought actually. My most treasured wish would be to have Mr Crafty home more....(his new job of the last 2 yrs has not exactly delivered its promise)

Wish number 2 ... A holiday for two, to some isolated paradise (we are in desperate need of alone time, and a little romance couldn't hurt)

Wish numbers 3 and 4 are selfishly just for moi !! Botox :) and a gorgeous necklace form the fabulous Uberkate.   *sigh...keep dreaming old girl*

And my last wish is simply for my family to be happy, for them to be safe, content and to live in peace. For them to be able to follow their dreams and to never forget that in life each and every one of them is special and important, and that they are perfect to me just as they are in every single way......


Merry Christmas from Crafty and Crew....

Linking up with essentiallyjess for #IBOT
                          2012

14 Dec 2012

The Gate Has Now Closed...

It's been a long day, it's been a long week. No lets make that a long month. I never thought we would make it, I never thought that the end would come. But here we are at the end of this journey, a journey that we have been on for a very long time.

11 years....
Wow, when you actually stop and think about it, it's quite a long time, but that is how long our family has attended our current primary school.

It's here ....
A day that I can honestly say snuck up on me all to quickly. The day that my youngest graduates and leaves behind his primary years, and heads off to high school in the New Year.

For our family, it is time to stand beside him and watch as he spends his final moments with his class mates and teachers, and for us as a whole to bid farewell to a school that has been such a huge part of our lives.
The entire journey has been a wonderful experience, and though leading up to this day has been tough emotionally, it is with great pride and smiles that we walked through the gate for the final time this morning, ready, but with definite sadness. It's time to say goodbye to some of the most wonderful times and people that we have ever had in our lives. Times that have provided us with so many memories that we will cherish forever. People that will never be forgotten.

The final goodbyes have been hard to make. The same office staff that enrolled my babies are still there, and so many of their past teachers in junior school also. To see them this morning at our final "talent" show, to hear many of  them  say that my family has been a wonderful part of their school community, and that we will be missed brings with it both joy, pride and sadness.

Joy....because my sons have left behind them a wonderful name for themselves, and for that they should be proud.
Pride....because my sons will be remembered as stand out students that always did their best, and contributed in many ways to the school over the years. They have truly grown into wonderful young men that have such fantastic futures before them.
Sad....because it is over, and the time has come when we must say goodbye and move on.

As I sat this afternoon for the last time waiting for the bell to ring, I couldn't help but look around and think back to all the wonderful moments that we have been involved in, it's certainly been a jam packed 11 years and a time that we will reflect back on for many years to come, for that I am sure.

When the bell finally chimed, a smile came to my lips as I realised that we had made it, we have finally seen all four sons successfully complete primary. And as the students poured from their classrooms, the tears started to fall as they bid their fellow classmates farewell, and realised that part one of their journey is complete, and the next stage about to begin seeing them become yet again the "small fish in a big pond" I hope that they are all able to look back on this time with much fondness.

As my son finally made his way to me, his tear filled eyes started me off I am a big sook I had done so well up until now, but seeing his tear stained face and little red eyes were more then I could handle, and as he held on to me we both cried, with happiness, sadness and I am sure with some relief.

The final walk out of the school was a magical moment, we walked hand in hand tears still falling and as we approached the gate I whispered to him "are you ready"? he just looked up at me with those gorgeous eyes and said "This is the last time I will walk through this gate as a student" I squeezed his hand and said "lets go" and as we walked through that gate for the final time we raised our hands in victory......

Farewell Primary and thank you for such wonderful memories.




Linking up with www.withsomegrace.com for #FYBF



11 Dec 2012

Please Santa, I Need Your Help !

Without a doubt, each year it seems that it gets harder and harder to shop for my sons. The older they get, the more difficult it becomes and trying to get ideas from them is as difficult as pulling teeth.

When they were little, I completely enjoyed the planning, the time spent pouring over catalogues with a coffee in hand, then hitting the shops armed with my massive list, never forgetting to "check it twice" it was fun, I was in my element.
Now as the countdown to Christmas begins, it's stress that seems to be delivered in my letter box right along side those darn catalogues filled with smiling parents who make it look so easy !

Yeah right ......
It's beginning to be much more of a headache then a pleasure.

I still ask the boys each year to write me a list, (yeah thanks, big help boys) this year I got the likes of money, money and more money. A request for "get out of school" vouchers, like that's going to happen ! and of all things a coffee machine....yes you read right, my fourteen year old asked for a Delonghi !!! Go figure.

I'm sure they think it's funny to torture me. When they hand over their lists (still addressed to Santa) they do so with the most cheeky smiles, and one son even asked me not to read his list until he was safely tucked up in bed (maybe it was the request for school passes making him run for cover) this left me a little uneasy and unsure if I should even read his list or not !

But all jokes aside I need help this Christmas. So Santa please I'm begging you. I need your specialised help. My Christmas wish is that somehow, in some magical way, you will be able to guide me in the right direction and help me with a few ideas for teenage boys.....
I would be SO grateful and I can assure you that by lending me a helping hand, that I will repay the favour by leaving you out a delicious snack on Christmas Eve :)



By the way, hubby has wished for an Australian Red Cattle dog
*sigh*





Linking up with EssentiallyJess for #IBOT

10 Dec 2012

The Final Week Is Here...

Today begins the last week of school for 2012.
YIPPEE, it's the first sign that this year is almost over, we are now on the downhill run !!

Our house has gone completely nuts (more so than usual) it's full of excitement and energy (from the kids of course)
Me !! I'm hanging in there, I am completely exhausted and an emotional wreck, but if I can just hold on and make it through this final week of school and all the end of year activities, I've won....

This week is going to be a really hard week to get through, I am going to need some strength to get through it. Tears will fall, so be warned. In fact they have already begun.

Our Primary school days are finally coming to an end, Friday will be our last ever day in attendance. I am in two minds about it, on one hand I will now only have two children left at school (cheaper) and they will now be attending the same school (easier school run) but I am also feeling quite sad, my last baby is growing up (too fast) It is the end of our "little kid" years. He is excited......I am trying to hold onto the memories.
I have been reflecting over these past few days. thinking back on the many memories that we have collected over the years since we first attended Primary.
The first days, the sport carnivals. The camps and excursions. The many parades and award ceremonies we have attended and the many wonderful teachers, office staff and friends that we will be leaving behind. Eleven years is a long time to attend one school, and it will be hard to say goodbye.

It's always hard to let go and watch your kids grow and begin new challenges. We have watched three children before our youngest graduate Primary and head off to High school, we have also now watched as our two eldest sons graduate grade twelve, but this time it feels different. He is our last he is our youngest, he is my baby and knowing that is hard for me to comprehend, I just want to take him by the hand and keep him close for just a little while longer, I am not ready to let go.

His first day at school

On Wednesday, we will celebrate with him at his Graduation ceremony and dinner, I have told him that he must expect tears from me, he just shakes his head and gives me a cheeky smile. I am so proud, he is growing into a wonderful young man, but at the same time as we say goodbye to our tween and say hello to yet another teen, I know that my ride is far from over and if his brothers teen years are any indication to what I am in for, I am getting ready to hold on tight for another roller coaster ride to begin.......

Help me and please keep me in your thoughts, as I am still riding the wave with the others !
It's scary, it's exciting, it's a crazy life ......


6 Dec 2012

Meeting The "King" Of Pyjamas

You would be forgiven for thinking that the man in the blue pyjamas, was in fact just another warm and inviting member of the Peter Alexander sales team, but in actual fact it was none other then the "King" of pyjamas himself happily greeting and serving his customers as though they indeed were royalty themselves.

Yesterday, with a belly full of nerves, excitement and butterflies. I was lucky enough to meet, greet and speak with Australia's very own "King of Pyjamas" Peter Alexander. As a long time fan and wearer of his pj's, I was excited and interested to see what the man himself was like in person.

Peter and I
 Charming, friendly, delightful, funny, helpful and gracious.....           

There was not one person he did not seek out to speak to, or pose for photos with on their request. He kindly obliged the media, by answering all questions fired at him with a giant smile, and at one stage even had his picture taken with a giant pink teddy bear.

Peter Alexander is a true entrepreneur. Beginning in 1997, Peter started his "pyjama game" on his mothers dinning room table, and began his career by selling to all major department stores across Australia.
In 2004, his first standalone store opened gaining him instant celebrity success.
Now in 2012, and 52 stores later and counting, Peter is celebrating 25 years in the pyjama business.

Peter says that "in the beginning, his idea to make pyjamas fashionable, was a really dumb idea" he says that he "had an idea to create pyjamas for real girls and that from day one it really took off in a big way"

Yesterdays sneaky purchase

Meeting Peter, I have to say was a definite highlight for me, his friendliness and true interest in his customers was delightful and I wish him continued success and happiness.

So, what did this PJ loving mum wear to meet Australia's very own "king of pj's" Peter Alexander???????
Don't worry, I decided to go a little more classy and leave my old faith fulls at home under my pillow, but if I ever get the chance again......                
Treasured autograph
                                                           

If you would love the chance to meet Peter yourself, he is currently on a "Christmas Tour" visiting stores of his Australia wide. Check out his web site for the new catalogue and tour dates.
www.peteralexander.com.au/



THIS WAS IN NO WAY A SPONSORED POST


4 Dec 2012

Sending Out Hugs And Encouragement

Today I am falling apart. My eyes are burning and my body aching. I have been so busy taking care of everyone else and their needs, not to mention all that comes with running a busy household, especially at this time of year. That I think I have forgotten to stop, breathe, sleep and look after the one person who takes care of everything around here.

 The slave ME !!

In the past few weeks things around here have been non stop. Things have really been happening at an ongoing fast pace. I have been run off my feet with extra days added to my volunteer roster at my sons school, attending many school functions such as graduations, concerts and award ceremonies. Struggling to get through Schoolies week (what an emotional week that was) Trying to organise everything that comes with a big family Christmas and our traditions (crafting, baking, shopping, wrapping, hiding) celebrating birthdays, welcoming an extra addition to our home, and still there seems to be no end in sight yet !
Still to come is another graduation, a couple of Christmas parties, a volunteers thank you luncheon, another school concert, more shopping, cleaning, cooking and preparing the house for an extra five family members over the Christmas period, and of course tomorrow is the day when I will get to meet a very inspiring business man known all around the world. I am so excited that I can hardly contain myself (my family think I am nuts)
But that is another blog post altogether.

Honestly, with how tired I am feeling right now, that if I were a bird  I think that I would literally fall of my perch.

It seems that women are expected to take on a load that is beyond human sometimes. I am no super hero, I can only take so much before I snap (so my family found out on the weekend) I want everything to be top notch, I want my family to have the best of everything that I can possibly provide, but I am just me, just one small person in this universe and I am tired. I will be so glad to see the end of the school year, that instead of the kids I maybe the one skipping through the gate with a huge grin plastered on my face.

Don't get me wrong, I know that in no way am I alone in feeling this way, all of us women feel the pressure at this time of year (and many other times as well)
So I am sending you all a HUGE hug and lots of encouragement, we are doing a great job, and in the end what we achieve will be worth it.
A woman's job is NEVER done, but my goodness we so deserve that cold beverage and some me time when this busy time is over.......



Linking up with EssentiallyJess for IBOT

3 Dec 2012

A Little Christmas Craft

Thank goodness.
I've got my craft mojo back !!
I don't know where it has been hiding, but thankfully it has returned just in time for Christmas.

I have been busy whipping up a Christmas banner and a gorgeous wooden Christmas tree, which I was inspired to make after attending the Spotlight VIP night.

THE TREE

Getting started

Even though I have done my best at giving it a go, I am not very clever at using power tools. Actually, to be honest I am quite useless with them so it's best that I stay away to ensure the safety of all around me (hubby happily agrees) So to avoid any disasters, I purchased a pre-cut wooden tree to make life a little easier. I found this particular one at "Spotlight" it was approx $30 and exactly what I was after.
Next I was on the hunt for lots of pretty bling to decorate my tree, because you can never have to much bling at Christmas, can you ?  I kind of went over board on "bling" purchases, but honestly, it all called out to me from the shelves, just begging to come home with me :) I swear .

Once home and unpacked, I couldn't wait to get started. For months now I have been "craft challenged" wanting to get creative but stumbling every time I tried, so to finally have found a "cure" for my lack of "craftiness" was exciting.
Firstly, I began by roughly painting the tree white, using a sponge roller, leaving it quite patchy in places to give an older, worn effect. Once dry, I began to arrange the bling, not attaching it right away so that I could play around till I was completely happy with the placement. When I was, I made sure that it was securely in place with clear adhesive and I sprayed the finished product with a clear gloss to give it extra shine....
Painting process

I must say that I am quite happy with the finished product. My Christmas "welcome" tree is now proudly displayed in the front hallway of our home, so that it is the first sign of Christmas that any guests see when they visit us this silly season.....
The finished product

THE BANNER

How lucky was I to find Christmas material with Owls printed on it :) yes I do have a slight major obsession with all things "owly" So of course I had to bring it home with me and figure out some way of incorperating it into my Christmas craft. The solution ! a Christmas banner.......
To cute not to buy

To begin, I cut the material into large triangles, then attached them to even larger triangles that I had cut out of gold card stock that I found in my scrap booking collection. I then found some Christmas ribbon and glittered bells that I also used to decorate each triangle.
A close up of the banner

So that I could hang the banner easily, I used tiny wooden craft pegs to attach each triangle to a long piece of gold string, then hung it to the wall above our family dinning table.


Final product hung 



DIY QUICK & EASY WALL ART - TWO WAYS !

With Spring in the air, it seems as though I have my craft and diy mojo back. FINALLY ! I have no idea where it went, maybe it was jus...