30 March 2011

Don't you love the internet?

I do.

I love it.

I love that it can answer a lot of my questions and recently I had a burning question that just had to be answered.

It was a Sunday afternoon and I was reading an old copy of Simple Scrapbooks magazine from April 2009. One of their last ones.

Anyway, I got to this layout...

Here, look more closely...

Journalling reads, "After your stunning performance on the way from Denver to Cleveland and back again, the next time I am willing to take you on an airplane will be the year 2018 (and quite frankly, maybe not then either). I'm not really kidding. April 2006."

I'm like, "What did she do?" I remember saying the same thing back in 2009 too.

You can see below that the story lives behind the photo on the layout, but it's like a teaser, we can't read it!

Right, I thought, time to get on the internet and find out! I found Elizabeth through Write.Click.Scrapbook, which I knew she was a part of, and emailed her about it.

She was very gracious and linked me over to her blog where she recorded the story in 2006. I told her in my return email that she'd been blogging a long time and that I didn't think I was even reading blogs in 2006, let alone writing one. And of course I said thanks for answering my question. 

So, do you want to know what Gracie's stunning performance was?

Thanks, Elizabeth. Thanks for putting this issue to rest for me and for giving me permission to share this story.

She was also pleased to report this -----> Gracie is almost 6.5 now, and successfully took a marvelous, uneventful trip by airplane to Ohio with Matt last April. They made it back without incident : )  

Good for you, Gracie!

29 March 2011

Mum's craft room

Hey there again,

Posting pics of Mum's craft room for you today.

Recently Mum said she was going to her craft room and Pete (who was visiting) said, "Going to your shed are you, Mum?"

Um, yep!

She uses a spare bedroom in their house as her shed. I actually wrote Punch Art Fun book 2 in this room. Not sure how I did it.

Like I mentioned previously, Dad made the hutch for her and it's been a winner from the beginning.

These pics were taken a while ago and I know Mum wants to get in there and go through all the stuff again and purge. I think she's feeling a need to purge.

You know how it is when you craft and use your space and after a while it just gets out of hand and every time you walk in you feel a bit stressed, disorganised and/or frustrated by the mess?

Yep, the usual signs of needing a 'move it on out' as I call it.

In fact, I've just done another one on my own craft desk. Moved stuff off my desk - that was the main priority. Feels good.

See the blue and black tote at the side there? She bought a lazy susan for it and the whole thing spins now. So great. I can see all her punches down the bottom there in the drawers. Oh, and a bear hiding under there. That sounds like a song...

Lots of paper lined up in the boxes to the side. Looks very clean and organised, doesn't it?

Wonder how it looks now, like, right now, at this exact moment? What's the bet it's not this clean? Usually means some crafty fun is going on!

And to finish. This is the other side of her room. The old trusty sewing machine and overlocker. I think an overlocker does that criss cross on the edge of your fabric or something so it doesn't fray, but all I know is, Mum thought it was the best thing ever when she bought it and whipped up so many things in a fraction of the time. She loved it. Do you use it for quilting too, Mum? Or was that what it was for in the first place?

That big fabric bag (that she made) holds her quilting mats and such. And can you see her sewing bag on top of the shelf? Cute. Yay, we match.

Well, there you go. We've reached the end of the posts dedicated to my creative mother, but I guarantee my mother hasn't reached the end of her creativity!

And one last thing.

What I find interesting, and I've only just noticed this, she's a fab sewer and a fab papercrafter, but I don't think she's ever combined the two. Have you sewed on a scrapbook page, Mum?

Righto, folks, bye now!

See you soon for another series I'm calling, A Scrap Quiz!

28 March 2011

Revamp, redo, repeat or recycle

Hi there,

Just posting this quick and simple card today. Gotta ease into the new week, right?

This is a little card - a 7 x 7 cm front. Something like that.

My thought about this type of card is that it can be used as a default.

You know how you want to make something, but every time you sit down at your desk you try to make something new?

Why do that? (Talking to myself here!)

Why not revamp, redo, repeat or recycle something you've done before?

Would take the stress out of it and let you ease into your creative session, right?

Whaddya think?

I'm thinking I might take my own advice and do it next time!

25 March 2011

A Creative Family - Mum

Hi there, 

Showing the last of the photo proof of some of Mum's crafts again today. 

I've included the list again, so you can see where we're up to - ie. the empty nest stage. This is probably quite typical for creative people. Mum's always made time for some type of craft or another, but she's had her lean times. She did jigsaws for a while there. Big ones and a lot of them. 

But this time - the empty nest time - was a very productive time on her crafting calendar. She discovered quilting and sewed with abandon. She discovered glue guns and dried flowers. She discovered teddy bears and her love for all things furry.  

I think she did a lot more crafting for four reasons - more money in the house, more time on her hands, more people doing crafty stuff around her in the church group and she was missing us and needed to fill the void. Makes a lot of sense to me. 

Let's have a look at some of the crafty loveliness shall we?

Mum's list of crafts

Plaster of Paris Craft (Moulds & Painting)



We're still technically in the early years of the list, but she had embroidery listed here, so I had to show you this bag she made for me. 

She and Sue both had one and I wanted one too. I'm not a sewer or anything, I just wanted a bag like them! Mum was good enough (in both ways) to make it for me. It's lovely, don't you think? Note the bee button. My bag is different to theirs. They're all different. 

Sewing (Doll’s clothes)

Pressed Flowers

Cross stitch



I've shared this before, but those strawberries are worth sharing again.



ClayPot Craft - Decorating etc

String & Nail Pictures

Latch Hook

More sewing craft – Barbie Doll outfits etc

Doll House Decorating (wallpapering, rug-making, mini-furniture making)



Fabric & Lace Covered Photo Frames/Journals/Notebooks etc


(empty nest stage starts about here) 


Hot Glue Gun Craft

Old Gold Books

I wish I had pictures of these!

Dried Flower Arranging

Folk Art


Crazy  Patchwork


This was an industrious stage. She made a lot of quilts and quilt-y wall hangings. 

Long Stitch



Paper Making

Soft Toys (sewn, knitted, crocheted etc)

And onto the Teddy Bears.

Another very industrious stage!

These are the big bears. All regular bear size. 

These are the small bears. They're sitting on a table top. And those ones at the front are tiny. And jointed. They're about two inches high when sitting. Maybe less. 

So cute. 

The bookshelf was a Christmas gift that was made for her to hold all the bears. 

You need that sometimes. Somewhere to put all the stuff you make...

Here's Sunshine. Mum made her for me. She's about 3 foot high and heavy. 

She's sitting on the chair in our spare room right now.  

Linky (on the left) and Binky. Or Blinkie. Or ? I can't remember the name of the pink one. 

Linky for Luke (her grandson). 

Maybe Slinky for Sarah, heh heh.

Mr and Mrs Gustafus. My favourites. 

These bears make me smile every single time I see them. 

And the tiny, jointed bear she made for me. He's half the size of Gustafus's foot! 

Honestly, he's amazing. 

Ribbon Flowers

Silk Flower Arranging

Christmas Decoration Making (Sequin balls, Foam covered baubles, stick trees etc etc)

Card Making

Punch Art

I know! Can you believe it? Very Mum again. She often comes up with an ambitious project and tries it to see if she can do it. 

And she rarely fails. In fact, she doesn't. 

This started with the giraffe. I remember making up those giraffes together one day. We had a great time. And then that led to her wanting to make more animals etc etc. You know how it is. 

She made it as a gift for Jack for his bedroom. 

He's had it up in there for quite a while now. It's still gorgeous. 

He's gorgeous-er.

Took this photo too to illustrate the punch art, but I love the reflection of the three of us in the glass. Jack's looking up and Casey's in front of me.  



General Crafts (by the dozens) includes: 

Fake lead lighting

Cellophane pics
Copper pics
Leaf rubbing
Sand/pebble mosaics pics
Pipe cleaner art
Paddlepop stick art
Clay figures
Pencil case making

Well, there you go, hey?

Mum's fabbo list of creative prowess, massive accomplishment and skill in the crafting arena. Amazing, isn't she? Truly amazing. 

I really think it's fairly obvious where my crafting gene came from, don't you? :o)

Next up, her craft room!

24 March 2011

A Creative Family - Mum

Hi there girls,

Hope you're all doing well this week!

Are you ready for Mum's creative prowess in photo form? We don't have photos of everything, but we rustled up a good sample of things. You know, I think she even did a project of all her crafting projects. I think she put photos of all her handmade things in a tin (like those lunch tins that were around a couple of years ago) and then decorated the tin itself.

I wonder if a photo of the tin went in the tin? ha ha

You've seen this one before, but I included it because no doubt she made our clothes.

When I was typing String and Nail Pictures on the list - I did think to myself...I'll admit it...they're kinda easy, aren't they?

Well, looking at the above I take that back.

Not easy. And that's cotton, not string. I remember this picture, it hung above the stairs in our 70s house. We pretty much lived in one house in the 70s, another in the 80s and another in the 90s. Pretty much.

Summary: String and Nail Pictures = not easy.

What if you break the string...er, cotton?

What if you bang your finger while banging the nails in?

Lots of potential for dissatisfaction and injury with ye olde string and nails craft.

This is another 70s house memory. Sue and I are 19 months apart. We didn't get dressed in the same clothes much, just similar ones like these sometimes.

Look at Sue's handbag. She had a tissue in there and 20c for the offering at Sunday School.

Mum crocheted those dresses. I wonder if they were itchy?

Oh my word, I love this photo. This is why I take photos now - because they'll turn into classic ones in the future. Makes me want to go to my mother's house and look through her albums and get some printed. Can I do that sometime, Mum?

Things Mum made in this photo:

Her dress probably. Love it. She's in blue on the side there.
My dress probably.
The cake - she definitely made the cake.

Now, what sort of cake do you think it is? I tell ya, it took us ages to figure it out, but with her memory and our detective skills, we worked out it's an orange ladybug. I used to like ladybugs and she said there was no red food colouring back then, so she used orange! Before we worked it out I wondered why she'd made me an orange creature cake...

The little boy isn't my brother, he's my cousin. Pete was asleep upstairs apparently. The rest are the four grandparents, Granny's brother and uncles and aunties.

Ah, more crochet. This is a shirt/top thing she made for Pete. He was seen in it often...

Amazing handiwork going on there. This from someone who loves crochet, but makes up everything she does because she has no idea how to read a pattern. In consultation with Mum I do the stitches right (I think there's only three), I just have different names for them.

This one's a Barbie poncho!

Did you have a poncho in the 70s/80s? I remember we did - they were knitted or crocheted, I can't remember.

The poncho should come back. They keep your shoulders/neck/arms warm with room for flapping if you need a bit of air because you're hot. Works for me!


This is one of my favourites because I remember doing a lot of it with Mum and Sue. Mum had a big container of Hobbytex paints and we used to go to town colouring in. I had favourite colours because they flowed easily. It's a fun craft except when the paint doesn't flow smoothly.

I just did a Google search for Hobbytex and found an Australian site for it. Golly, seeing the paint pens (which is essentially what they are) again took me back! I remember those plastic guards to stop us squeezing while painting. We had to take the couple we had off and on and always put them on the one we were using.

The photo above is a pillowcase Mum made for me. Debra means 'bee' thus the bees. Cute. I remember the Hobbytex bits were cold to roll onto in winter.

Mum also used the Hobbytex paints to label our socks too. D and S because we had a lot of white socks for school and they were forever getting mixed up. Good idea. Also useful for us when we went swimming at school. We could always point out the D and S socks and find them easily.

The doll house.

And that's the divan that she covered three times. And she probably made those curtains too. I say probably, because she always did that kind of stuff growing up, but I'm not completely sure if she made these exact ones. Can't half tell this is the 70s house :o)

She wallpapered and carpeted this doll house. She made tonnes and tonnes of Barbie clothes. I was lucky. She also made the bed, sheets, pillows, dressing table, dressing table seat, beanbag, lounge suite, floor rugs and the macreme planter hanger on the front there. Can you see it? Third level up, on the right pole - there's some string covering something brown. That's it. There might even be another one down the bottom too. Told ya Mum liked a challenge. She was good at this stuff and made it to see if she could make it and she enjoyed it.

Get this - she even made a Barbie clutch purse. It was crocheted and so tiny. She used a piece of one of her old necklace chains for the strap.

Wow. I mean, really, wow, Mum.

Next we move onto the ceramics phase. This phase lasted quite a while. I'd say at least 10 years.

She made us quite a few things over the years, this cup being one of them. Sadly the handle's broken, but it's still a keeper.

We made a lot of ceramics with her too. It's quite a process to have kids involved in. You choose your greenware first, take it home without breaking it, clean it up without breaking it, paint it without breaking it, take it back without breaking it and get it home again without breaking it.

I think there was some 'breaking it' with us involved.

I used to like using the scraping tools to get the rough edges off. And then the sanding tools to make it nice to paint on. We used to sit at the coffee table with a towel on the table and scrape and sand the greenware together. I know I did this, but I've no memory of what I actually made.

This is a clock Mum made Sue. We both got one, mine was more pinkish, hers was more browner pink. 

A lot of fine hand detail doing on there. And it's not 2D work, it's all 3D, and takes a bit of skill. 

Mum made a lot of ceramics over the years - salt and pepper shakers (we had those mushroom ones on the table every night for years and years), ornaments, clocks, gifts, more ornaments, a nativity set (I really like that set, always have)...

...these swans. They're ornaments.

And these knicky knacky things. The ones with lids held jewellery on her dressing table, I think. 

Aren't they so cute? They're tiny, only a couple of inches high, and the pictures are stencils you put on, they're not painted. 

One thing I've realised, Mum likes miniature. Little clothes, little handbags, little ceramics, little bears - they're coming up soon! 

She's made little mini albums too. And I mean mini, mini ones. Tiny. 

That's all from Mum's list of crafts for today. 

Be back with some more soon! 

23 March 2011

After reading Mum's lists of crafts yesterday...

...Diane sent me her list of crafts!

She said she and Mum are around the same age and Mum might recognise some of the crafts. Do you, Mum? Anyone else out there recognise a few they'd forgotten about? Di felt like she had a trip down memory lane while reading Mum's list.

I'd never heard of Chicken Scratching before and Di sent me this explanation about it:

"Apparently the chicken scratching started back in the early days when all crafts were more widely used. The wife was doing cross stitch on gingham, husband wanted to know what she was doing, she said, decorating a tablecloth, he said, looks like a lot of chicken scratching to me. I used to work in a craft shop (back in the old days when this craft made a comeback) which had a book on 'Chicken Scratching' with that explanation inside."

I can see that husband saying that. Sounds like something a fella might say, hey? :o)

Added this pic in honour of the Chicken Scratching craft. She's so cute. Got her at a country type shop somewhere. Knew I had to have her when I saw her. Makes me smile. 

Anyway, here's Diane's list!

Candle Making
Chicken Scratching (cross stitch on gingham)
Faberge Eggs (or egg artistry)
Fimo Jewellery
Glass & China Painting
Lino Stenciling
Paper Tole
Raffia Hats 
Rag Rugs 
Wood Burning (This is Deb - also called Pyrography or Pokerwork) 
Spinning & Weaving 
Pot pourri  
Paper Making 
Tiffany Lamp Shades
Pom Pom Creations  
Sewing - Cabbage Patch Doll Clothes 

She says: I have never done patchwork and quilting before, so now I can add them to my 'list', although I hardly think one half- made quilt counts.

Di, it counts! 

The other thing she said? It is all very interesting when you look back - sometimes I think I haven't achieved much! Ha

You certainly have, Di, that's for sure. And didn't you get a Big Shot recently? I added Papercrafting in there for you! (whether you've done any or not, doesn't matter. You're prepared to, that's what counts right now)

There are a lot of things on that list that weren't on Mum's. I remember making pom poms when I was about 12 or 13.

Just goes to show how many crafts are out there, hey? 

If anyone else wants to contribute their craft list, feel free, we'd love to read it.  

Bye now! 


22 March 2011

A Creative Family - Mum

Hi there,

I'm back this week with Mum's list of creative crafts and whatnots. And some of them are whatnots, for sure.

That is, "What?" and then (surely) "Not!"

Two words - gold books. Ha ha.

My mother is a very creative person. It's more than obvious she needs creativity in her life. It's fun for her to make things, challenge herself and just see what happens. It's also therapy. We all know that!

I have her typed list of crafts sitting in front of me. A while ago I asked her to write down all the things she's tried over the years. Some crafts stayed around for years, some were tried once and flicked, some have stayed her whole life. It's quite interesting actually.

Here's Mum today. Okay, not today, it was actually last Sunday. She and Dad came over for dinner and she brought her new blanket to show me.

She made it to use up some of Grandma's wool.

Being the avid crocheter that she was, Grandma had a lot of wool at her house when she moved into the retirement home, so Mum and I acquired some extra. I like having a wool stash. I dipped into it to make last year's not-yet-finished flower cushion.

Here's a receipt of Grandma's that I found in one of the bags of wool. Just a bit of ephemera I'll be keeping.

According to Wikipedia - Ephemera is 'transitory written and printed matter not intended to be retained or preserved.' 

Well, this bit will be preserved by me. Ephemera is just the coolest. I need one of those Smash Journals and I need one now. I've been saving bits to put in it. I found an old piece of paper with Scrabble scores on it the other day too. Pappa and Granny played as well as a couple of other people. Worth keeping, considering we now use their Scrabble board. The pieces are wooden and uneven, I love it.

Back to the blanket. Pretty, hey? Mum said she made all the squares individually and it didn't really come together until she put them together in blocks of four. And as you do, she tweaked it as she went along and added the blocks of white, so the flowers would stand out.


Yep, cute.

And colourful. The colourful ones are always my favourite.

She's making another rug now. Got the crochet bug again hey, Mum?

She's been crafting longer than me (obviously), but one thing I noticed while looking at her list of crafts is that she's tried so, so many over the years and I just haven't. I'm either not that adventurous, or that skilled. I think it's a bit of both. I definitely got the papercrafting gene, while Mum and Sue got the sewing gene. And Mum got the "I'll try anything once" gene too.

Actually, it's the same with our scrapbooking. We've been scrapping for the same amount of time (about 10 years) and she's tried a lot of different techniques that I haven't. That's a whole other blog post series, that is!

We were looking at one of her albums recently and I saw a beach page with windows cut in it. The windows were raised on foam tape, had real shells in them and I think there was actual sand on the page somewhere! I've never done anything like that in my scrapbooks. We chuckled while looking at her pages. Fun.

Anyway, onto her list.

Prepare yourself...seriously.

I'll put an asterisk next to the ones I've done and you'll see what I mean by me not doing nearly as much as her. I'll double the asterisk if I've really done enough of it to warrant me calling it a craft of mine.

She's also written the list chronologically (thereabouts). I did a lot of these crafts with her when I was growing up (note the clump of asterisks).

Here goes...

Mum's list of crafts

Plaster of Paris Craft (moulds and painting) *
Knitting *
Sewing (doll's clothes)
Pressed Flowers *
Applique *

Crochet **
Ceramics *
Hobbytex *
Clay Pot Craft - decorating etc *
Cake decorating
String and Nail Pictures
Latch Hook
Cross Stitch
More sewing craft - Barbie Doll outfits etc
Doll House Decorating (wall papering, rug making, mini-furniture making)

Macreme (she made Barbie sized ones for us too!)
Fabric and Lace Covered Photo Frames/Journals/Notebooks etc

(we're moving into the very productive 'empty nest' period here)

Hot Gun Glue craft
Old Gold Books (remind me to mention these at the end)
Dried Flower Arranging
Folk Art
Crazy Patchwork
Long Stitch *
Paper Making

Soft Toys (sewn, kitted, crocheted etc)
Teddy Bears
Christmas Decoration Making (Sequin balls, foam covered baubles, stick trees etc)
Ribbon Flowers
Silk Flower Arranging
Card Making **
Punch Art **
Scrapbooking **
Papercraft **

And here's the list of General Crafts (can you believe it?) that she did by the dozens. These have ebbed back into the recesses of her mind and she'd have to completely live her life again to remember them all...

Fake Lead Lighting
Cellophane Pics
Copper Pics
Leaf Rubbing
Sand/Pebble Mosaic pics (I remember those! The pebbles were coloured)
Rock Painting (rock painting??)
Pipe Cleaner Art
Clay Figures
Pencil Case Making

Other things she did:
~ Made a lot of her own clothes.
~ Made most of our clothes. Flary shorts. Did you make those, Mum? The ones from the 80s.
~ Wallpapered three houses.
~ Curtained four houses.
~ Recovered the divan three times.
~ Made fun birthday cakes.
~ Made the best crumbed chops ever!

Yes, cheers to you, Mum!

I'm going to do other posts with photos of things she's made, but I thought it was worth seeing the whole list first. It's pretty impressive, don't you think?

Points to note about the list:

1. I don't even know what some of the crafts are. Heard of them, don't know 'em.

2. She had to make up names for some of the crafts, ie. Clay Pot Craft. You know, you get a terracotta pot and stick stones to it with grout. Clay Pot Craft sounds way better than Sticking Stones to Pots.

3. Can you totally see how adventurous she's been with crafting throughout her life? And no, Mum and Dad aren't rich. She's done a lot of this on a budget. She's made things for us, her, them, as gifts - all that. And she's created her whole life because she's needed to. It's that simple.

4. One craft that I've done that I don't know if Mum's done is Felties. That's what they're called now, but back in the day they weren't. I just sewed with felt because it was more workable than fabric and I made up my own toys. Have you made Felties, Mum? Or Softies, as they're sometimes called.

5. Old Gold Books - I've gotta talk about these...oh my word. Back in the 90's Mum did a lot of crafts with the ladies at her church. One of them was Gold Books. I totally do not get this craft. You take an old book and antique it somehow and make the pages stiff, yet open, and then you put a plaque/message on it and then you spray it gold and then, get this, you spray this stringy stuff on it that dries to look like cobwebs!!!! The whole thing is meant to look like an old book that you might find open on a pulpit in a centuries old church in the middle of England! We (Mum, Sue and I) all laugh about it now...so funny. Didn't understand them then, don't understand them now!

6. Sometimes crafting is about the process, not the result. Mum always says that different crafts give you different skills that then allow you to move onto something else because you've learnt new skills. All I've gotta say is, Mum, you've amassed some rad skillz by now!

And that's all I have to say today - except that maybe making the Old Gold Books was all about the process and not the result... :o)

Be back soon with some photos of her stuff.


21 March 2011


Hi there,

Just saying thanks for all your comments and emails over the weekend.

We both thank you!


18 March 2011

This man...

...is my husband. 

He was born in New Zealand, but he's Australian, let's face it. 

He looks Australian!

That's a Driza-bone (dry as a bone) and a statesman hat (similar to an Akubra).

And that's Cody at the flooded dog park in the rain. 

That is, that's Cody having a great time!

Especially when he has a ball to chase. 

This man is a good dog owner. 

This man and I were talking about my blog and he asked how many people read it. 

He said 'maybe you should ask everyone to comment, so you can see'. Not a bad idea. Stephanie Howell did it recently. Sometimes you just want to know. 

So, this man would like to know how many readers I have. So would I. 

Can you leave a comment? I'd love that. 

And if you try to leave a comment and you can't, find it confusing or whatever, just email me (my address is on the sidebar) and I'll count you in the numbers. 

All you have to do is say hi! (Andrew said to tell you that). 


And thanks from him too...

PS. If you come across this post at a later time, still post a comment, thanks!

17 March 2011

My Creative Family - Mum

Oh my word. 

I love this photo of my mother and I. 

Isn't she gorgeous?

I'm going to talk about her creative prowess soon, but I thought I'd post this first. 

Plus, her list is soooo long, it's going to take a few posts, so I might as well add another to the list! 

I need to take a breath.

I need to make sure I've got her list of  "crafts attempted" over the years. 

I need to make sure I've got photo proof of her projects. 

I need to go get a cup of tea!

Mum, you're one of the most amazing creative people I know. 

Actually, you're the most creative person I know.

You're amazing. 

And you probably made our dresses in the photo too. 


15 March 2011

My Creative Family - Dad

Last year I talked about My Creative Family - I talked about the links in my heritage to the creativeness that I have today. 

If you missed those posts, just click on My Creative Family in the labels section to the right there - scroll down a bit to find the labels section. I talked about my grandparents - all four of them, and how they were all creative in their own way. 

Now I'm going to chat about Dad and Mum. 

First, Dad. 

Here he is. 

He's a fisherman for one. 

And it's his birthday today, for two. 

Happy Birthday, Dad! Hope you have a great day today! May this next year bring you much joy. Love you. 

Yep, Dad's a fisherman. I remember the little beach house that we used to stay in for our yearly holiday back in the 70's. It was rickety and you couldn't drink the water straight from the tap and my sister and I used to fight for the bed near the little window. I used to love looking out that window and down the long, steep driveway to the shop below where you could get a bag of lollies for a dollar.

September (when we had our holiday) was fishing season. Dad used to don his big, black waders with those rock sandals he had, put his orange floppy hat on and go to town with the fishing. He also had a black hat to match the waders and was never without that bait basket on his hip. 

His beach rods were yellow and very long. He had to be careful not to break the tips of the rods on the trees as he walked down the track to the beach. 

Mum just emailed me a photo I knew she had. It's a classic. Here he is in all his get up!

Don't you love it? 

Unfortunately we can't see the rock sandals or the bait bucket, but we can see the fishing bag on the ground there. It's the one he used to put all his fish in as he caught them and would only empty when it got too heavy! 

One night while on holiday, I wasn't feeling well and Mum got Dad up from the beach somehow. He would fish when the fish were on, and if it was in the middle of the night, it was in the middle of the night! It probably wasn't, but it seemed like it to me. You know how early kids go to bed. 

Anyway Mum got Dad and she brought him in to check on me. I remember Dad leaning over me - I can see it plain as day - and he was wearing that whole wader get up, including the hat. Quite a sight. Must've been dripping wet and stinking of fish. But still, nothing like having your dad around when you're feeling sick, hey? 

I don't know what happened - did I spew up (normal!), or did I have to go to the doctor? 

I think I was sick because I drank the water straight from the tap. I was playing follow the leader with my sister and she drank a tiny bit from the tap, but when it was my turn, I was thirsty and took a big drink. Not good. 

Ah, the memories :o)

Just seeing Dad above holding that flathead reminded me of all that stuff in an instant. Then I started writing, then I asked Mum for the photo...

Photos are amazing, they really do do their job well. If you let 'em. 

Here's another - get a load of it. 

That's Dad there - wearing an orange floppy hat. He used to wear them all the time. 

And that's the said beach that we used to visit when I was young. 

Yes, that's me. A bit of fun time with Dad. 

Golly, I love old photos. 

Dad's a creative man too. He's different in that he doesn't so much make things - he does, just not as many things - he tends to fix things, build things as needed and organise things with shelves or whatever's necessary. He's very creative with the materials he uses, I think. 

Dad's a great handyman. You know, he can do shelves, painting, hang pictures - all that fab stuff that we love our men to do. He's great at that. 

He's a good builder too - he can build stuff when he needs to. 

Here's a hutch he built for Mum. He stained it for her too. He would've restored the table it's sitting on as well. Mum and I did a big clean up of her craft room years ago (you keep telling me we need to do it again, Mum!) and we decided she needed some shelving. Dad to the rescue and he built this to her specifications - pretty spiffy, hey?

He helped me restore some tables we found under Pappa's house. Sanded those suckers back and stained them to make them all nice and new again. One of them I'm using to rest my arms on now while I type (tsk tsk - were never allowed to do that in Typing).

He also took Grandma's silky oak writing desk and restored it beautifully. He did such a wonderful job and it looks just gorgeous.

What else has he done?

Crafty - hmmm, not a lot. He's admired all the things I've shown him over the years - that scores a lot of points. And all the things Mum's made too - and that's a lot.

Fixy - fixed my bike as a kid. Dad always did the first day checks before we rode off to school. Fixed cars with his dad. Fixed everything around the house. Fixes bits on buses now. Fixed a gurney that wasn't working! There's a lot of things I could put here, but he's a really good problem solver and general fixer of things, it's amazing. He's pretty determined too, which helps him in the solving and fixing stakes.

And just for kicks - other things he's done as a dad...

1. He moved my room around a billion times growing up. I used to have to keep him up-to-date with the cricket score while he did it. "What's the score?" I'd run out to the living room, wait until it came up (they keep it up the whole time now) and then run back with the good/bad news.

2. He used to whip our ice cream for us and put Milo in it to make it extra nice.

3. He walked me down the aisle and then married Andrew and I. Mum, Dad and Pete gave me away. My brother and I shared a house for 2 and a half years before I got married, so he gave me away too. It was nice.

4. He gave us shoe boxes/ice cream buckets to spew in when we went over the range. Windy roads, oh, man.

5. He used to kneel beside my bed and talk to me before I went to sleep. He used to always push my hair out of my eyes and tuck it behind my ear.

6. He taught me to drive (so did Mum).

7. He used to be our bus driver for excursions at school when I was a teacher. I loved that and we had many great days out together over the years. I miss that.

Ah, Dad, love you!

You are a good man.