Rant on Goals and Epiphanies

This is a Rant. if you are easily offended, hate goals or epiphanies, this is not the post for you.

It’s no secret to anyone that knows me, I love epiphanies. Even the holy crap ones that you just didn’t see coming, and then chastising oneself for not paying more attention along the way. I also love goals. No matter what they are, nor whom has them, I support working your arse off to achieve them.

I have come to believe, by way of experience, that when you set goals, consistently work toward them, you appreciate the end result far more than had it just been given to you. When you EARN what you have, especially after life has knocked you on your arse and you have to start over, from scratch, you learn to love your life, to appreciate it and respect it. Thus becomes a self-perpetuating habit, making you work harder to keep it. Fighting for it, to protect it for your self and those that matter in your life. The work doesn’t stop when you get to where you are going. It’s not about the destination. The maintenance phase just begins.
I also don’t believe in handouts. I do believe in hand ups however. They are great, unless you are one of those people expecting them and then taking them and the people willing to help you for granted. A hand up is to help you get off your arse and on your feet, you know, so you can do for yourself. (And those people should never be shit on. They are getting fewer and farther between due to being constantly shit on by ungrateful disrespectful souls…it’s craptastic, please just stop it!)

 

Now that’s not to say the shit happens. Life happens. Our choices along the way are ours to make, as are the consequences that come from them, ours to own. The good, the bad and the I can’t believe I did that…The question remains the same, “What did I learn from this?” And if you haven’t learned anything, how many times will you repeat that which isn’t working for you, before the bright shining epiphany happens? And oh how it differs from being on your own to having kids/family/pets/important others relying on you to have your crap together.

I can’t help but wonder, why it takes some of us a few times of getting knocked on our butts, getting up and dusting ourselves off to start over again, before we decide we have had enough of that crap? I know it’s been a couple of times for me and I flat-out refuse to do it again. I make sure I am earning the life I have every single day. I make the time to really look around and notice every detail. I appreciate it and take time to be thankful and enjoy it. And never forget to pay it forward!

 

I’m not entirely sure when society as a whole became so freaking selfish. The “Do for me”, “Give me”, “I can do no wrong” attitude sours the stomach and leaves a horrendous taste on the tongue. Have we so quickly forgotten in such a short period of time, even over the course of say the last 100 years, that nothing gets done by itself? You can’t have a clean house if you do not clean it. Technology is to the human condition as oil is to water. We just don’t mix with out a good hard shake. Now we are an on demand society that have forgotten the fundamentals that got us here.

 

Rant over. As I step down off my soap box, I shake my head in disappointment. Humans are capable of greatness yet too many await it to be handed to them.

Potential. Each of us has it, built-in, already on board. It’s right there next to the auto correct. Yes, you have that to.

What are you doing with yours?

Tracey.

P.S. Life is hard and no one gets out alive. Embrace the suck and quit your bitchin’.

A gift worthy of a Fan Girl? How about a DIY TARDIS galaxy shirt?

A gift worthy of a fan-girl? Is there such a thing? We all know those people who are head over heels for that one thing they are into. Or several things they are in to, what ever the case may be. And usually, finding gifts for said people, with such a specific interest or interests is relatively easy.

So what then, do you get for a 13-year-old girl who is all up in the fan fiction? And not just any girl, but the bestie/neighbors kid you love as one of your own? Something that is beyond cool, beyond awesome? I’m sure you can to Hastings or such and check out the latest Harry Potter get up, or as any Whovian knows with a new Doctor comes new Dr. Who merch. That’s all fine and well, but let’s face it, it’s; well boring and unimaginative I guess.

Now when said 13-year-old has taken to heart one of the very things you grew up with, one of the very things she gets picked at for, as you did. And is very willing to follow her own path, stand on her own feet and proudly nerd up, not following the society of sheep all around. What gift then, is personalized enough for a kindred spirit, to cheer her on in her rebellion of “Nay-sayers” and “Should-doers?”

Not just anything will do. And being a fan-girl, knowing every minute detail of story lines and a personal knowledge of characters that are closer than people in her real life, well you simply can not just pick something off a shelf, or even scour the internet for that one perfect gift. Not if you want to blow her beautiful nerdy mind.

So what do you do? Once you work out the direction to take it becomes easy. And as said fan-girl is 1) a real Whovian, 2) with a love of t-shirts; it becomes even easier. See? We just narrowed it down to a Dr. Who t-shirt. And in two steps!

But how do we make this a one of a kind, personal gift that no one else can copy off her remembering the kids that pick on others for being different, and then copy and steal said new, awesome, cool thing she came up with? Because kids are freaking mean.

  • Well, we find a black shirt, you know, because teenager now…
  • And we find bleach, spray bottle, paints, brushes, sponges, even sticks…it’s art. Have fun with it!
  • And then we print out an epic picture of the Tardis off the googles on to iron-on-transfer paper (the kind made for dark fabrics)
  • And then we wing it. Galaxy shirts, clothing and such are apparently all the rage, or have been or something. I must have missed the memo on that one. So we wing it, ok.

But I can close my eyes, remember images from the Hubble Telescope and overlay them with my imagination (adding in limited art skills) and memory of the Tardis from Dr. Who, and this, very loosely re-imagined, is what I see….DIY T.A.R.D.I.S. galaxy T-shirt at itsnannasplace.com

I know there are tutorials all over the place and I admit I really didn’t worry about them (Sorry creative people, I am a hands on type also.) I did however spend several minutes looking at images of what is floating about the ether, and I was so excited to just jump in and give it a go. I’m not sure if there are rules for Galaxy wear, being a form of art and crafts, nor do I particularly care.

Now having worked with all these materials and having them on hand already, I not only saved money (always a win) but I was familiar with understanding that spraying bleach in random gaseous and star type ways needed to be done before washing, drying and then playing with paint. I was also very careful, since I cheated with making an iron on, not to have paint too close to the placement of where I would need to use the iron, as that is the last step.

So there it is, a Tardis Galaxy t-shirt. And just because I had a boring denim jacket onDIY T.A.R.D.I.S. galaxy denim jacket at itsnannasplace.com standby, loyally awaiting a fun idea, I made one for me, sans color. And no it’s not stealing her awesome juju on account I have been a Whovian since Tom Baker (the 4th Doctor) with reruns of previous Doctors at the same time. Yeah, old and all that lol.

So, what do you think? Is this something you will try? I’d love to see them! If you have questions I would be happy to do my best to answer them in the comments below.

Oh, and she loved it, to the point of praise, a smile and a giggle (which coming from a shy person is huge!)

Happy crafting creatives!

Tracey.

 

Pixel. The cat who made me love him.

 

Pixel the silver cat at itsnannasplace.com
Pixel. The great silver cat.

I am a dog person. At least I have said so for years. Why I say this I’m not entirely sure. I like most critters honestly. I guess that is what has made the last few days so incredibly difficult. We lost our cat to old age. He put up one hell of a fight though, on account he was hard-headed and stubborn.

Which may be the very reason I grew to love him as I did. We had quite the understanding, he and I. It wasn’t a love-hate relationship though I’m sure at times it looked like one. I’d like to think it was more a raging battle of wits. And we were both particularly good at it. Oh how he made me laugh!

It was so hard to watch him go. But we were glad he didn’t have to be alone. It was hard to lay him to rest, though now he lay in the very garden where he loved to venture from time to time which is Pixel, Inspector cat at itsnannasplace.coma big deal for an indoor kitty.

But it seems harder now. With the quiet. The house feels different without Pixel lording about. Without him reminding me it is 4:30 p.m. and therefore must be time for dinner. Or that making coffee is a great time for some milk.

It is hard, taking a bath at 3 in the morning when I can’t sleep, and not having him headbutt the door open, stroll in, sniff at the bubbles and then curl up on the bath matt on the floor, completely unimpressed with the whole thing.

Coach Pixel, Ab workout supervised by Pixel at itsnannasplace.com
Apparently I’m not supposed to do any crunches today! Silly Pixel

It’s weird, I knew I spent a lot of time with him, due to being a home body and both of us creatures of the night, as it were. But not having him coaching crunch sessions, or chirp in conversation, or sit on my shoulders to purr in my ear while writing or doing chores, it has been, lonely. I miss my little buddy. I just hope that he had a good life, especially in the short few years I have gotten to know him.

dog and cat friends, nap time at itsnannasplace.com
Looking cute is exhausting!

Pixel was a very different cat when I first moved in with the Mr. He was moodier than a teenage girl, more self-indulgent than a teenage boy, and more self entitled than a sociopath. Some time over the years, he had mellowed, enjoyed treats and loves, though still only on his time, as cat’s are want to do.

We played tag, and fetch and he would be up with me checking on things that went bump in the night, as the dog slept soundly on the couch. He would run to the door when the mail man came and inspect the people that came to visit. Every package or bag of groceries were diligently inspected and all boxes, were naturally his. Friends had commented  how he looked good happy. This warms me. Especially on a cold moody day such as this, as I miss him terribly.

The joy and blessing our pets bring us, even when they are testing our patience like a Pixel and Zen at itsnannasplace.comtoddler testing boundaries, is priceless. They are part of the family, and add to the dynamic that is our life. And bless them for it. It is hard for all, including Miss Zen (the dog in the pictures) Whom continues to wander about looking for her dear friend.

Pixel helped the Mr. and Zen both through some difficult life events, making it through the other side, keeping them both in line. He did the same for me. Pixel is the cat who made me love him. It is a heavy loss to our little family as we attempt to adjust. I’ll not say goodbye, I don’t do them. But may he rest in peace, knowing we love him still.

Sleep well my friend.

Mama….

Of Nano, Silver Linings and Morning Glory

Watching the clock, waiting for NanoWrimo to begin. I fondly remember the Morning Glories this morning, and the silver lining that is my life right now. In this very moment.

Coffee prepped and at the ready. The fridge and pantry stocked with plenty of food stuffs for quick and easy meals during the month. And with Halloween technically done, one can not ignore the candy. Oh so much candy.

It’s a very humbling moment. Stress and anxiety and excitement all prevail in these pre Nano moments. But I do find it humbling. How fantastic is it to be able to do something that I absolutely love, that’s in the direction of my goals? Well, it’s freaking awesome!

For those that don’t know me or have ever heard of NaNoWriMo, it is a fantastic, yet frantic journey through ones mind in an attempt to write 50,000 words during the month of November. National Novel Writing Month (for the month of November) is free to sign up to and such a great tool in learning how accomplish goals you set for yourself.

There is a chaotic madness involved that is some how quite exhilarating and enjoyable. Getting down the bones of your novel is a fantastic feeling. The hardest part is locking away your inner critic and his notorious buddy, the inner editor and ignoring them. Completely. Sounds doable. Right? Well it is. Last year was my second NaNoWriMo and I won. (And yes, I have the t-shirt.)

Anywhoo, back to the silver linings and morning-glory part.

As the weather fluctuates between overnight freezing and cool days for a week, only to bounce back to mild warm temps for a week; I find it amusing that most of our gardens are thriving.

I had been anxiously awaiting the late planted Morning Glory to flower. It’s long reaching vines always stretching out for more as a curious child exploring his environment. Deep green heart-shaped leaves make me smile each time I see them. Growing love. Up, over, through and around the deco upcycled BBQ. The sea of green, finally peppered with large, fragile blue and purple flowers.

As with everything we grow around here, (as plants don’t read their tags) they simply aren’t aware there are guidelines and rules for them. They just want to be themselves with no care for the time of year. It is fantastic and something I both encourage and support in most things.

Hard to remember that just two years ago, there was nothing but dirt and weeds back there and oh how he hated it! Spending little to no time in the yard at all, to now, well keeping him out of the greenhouse just isn’t going to happen. Save for winter I imagine.

The yard transformations have been silver linings for both of our lives.

Grateful we are. It has once again proven that hard work with a specific idea in mind, a step by step plan is completely attainable and well worth the blood, sweat and tears! There is still so very much to do back there, but one step at a time we will get there.

Have you stopped to acknowledge your accomplishments lately? Are you close to a goal you have been working on for some time? How will you handle it once you are finished? After the shock of actually finishing wears off, and you celebrate (happy dances totally count here!) what is your next step? Next dream you can break down into smaller goals?

Stay on target, and if you stray from the path, stop. Breathe. Remember your dream. Remember your reason WHY. Now go again facing forward, and kick ass! I believe in you!

Be well.

Tracey.

 

Halloween Crunch Time! All hands on deck! -updated

The Bane Mask

Well Halloween is upon us once again and our living room, shall we say appears to be a craft store after a tornado. All manner of craft foam, fabric, paint, plastic tubing, buckles and the trusty hot-glue gun at the ready.

The Mr. has finished a Bane mask for a friend and is feverishly putting together his Judge Dredd vest. Pepakura (think origami on crack) is his thing for sure, and he is amazing at it! As per the Iron Man costume that got him started. (See Below)

Iron Man and Bat Girl at itsnannasplace.com
Us as Iron Man and Bat Girl 2011

Being nerds on a budget and having a love for DIY, Halloween has turned into a world I never knew existed. Oh the fun! The RPF is an absolute must for anyone wanting movie quality costumes that you can make yourself. And who knows, maybe you’ll even win a costume contest or two. At the very least, you’ll blow your friends minds!

Even now, we have another friend, parked on the couch with coffee in hand, troubleshooting and planning techniques to construct his Henchman 24 costume (from Venture Brothers.) It’s a team effort with no detail or technicality left undiscussed.

pepakura, cosplay, DIY IronMan handmade costume by Papa at itsnannasplace.com
Papas pepakura Iron Man

I am amused at the transformation from the agonized week he had, fretting over what he would be this year; to right now, excited and willing to learn new skills. Honestly, I love to see people begin their journey towards their goals.

Usually by now, this close to Halloween, we have bought and started carving pumpkins. A lot of them! It’s an event to behold. Every night the week before Halloween, a huge sheet of plastic completely covers the living room floor. Neighbors, Awesome Kid #2, The Mr. and I sit on the floor, design, cut, scrape and carve. Many a laugh to be had every time. (I’ll have to scare up the pictures for you some time.)

This year is different as we’ll sadly not be doing pumpkins. Sigh. So focus is on the costumes, and ours are last. Again. Panic! We have so much fun trying to make our friends visions come to life and hopefully teach something along the way, that we lose all track of time. Wait, what day is it again? Here’s some of Papa’s Judge Dredd bits drying.

Judge Dredd costume pieces at itsnannasplace.com
Craft foam never looked so good.

On a good note, I finally came up with a costume. Hooray! While not cheating exactly, I’ve decided to go with items I already have. Mostly. Better late than not at all, or so I’ve been told.

If you know of Judge Dredd, you may be familiar with Mama. Head of the Mama Clan that runs Peachtree. I know, little time and effort in this one and I used things I already had for the most part.

The red shirt was an over-sized cheapy from Walmart. A can of dark hair colour spray for $1 and the whole get up cost $6. Some super glue and makeup work and it was all done in about 30 minutes. But work smarter, not harder I say. And hey, an accidental couples costume is also a win.

DIY Mama (Judge Dredd) costume at itsnannaspace.com
My last minute Mama costume.
DIY Mama costume at itsnannasplace.com
The fake scar upset some family at first.

 

Are you ready for Halloween? Do you have, or partake in parties with all the fun ghoul noms and decorations? Are you a costume person or do you like handing out candy to all the little goblins and ghouls? Or perhaps hiding with all the lights off pretending not to be home? Are you into cosplay or pepakura? let us know in the comments!

What ever your poison, may it be a safe and happy Halloween!

Oh, and please REMEMBER FOOD ALLERGIES when handing out goodies!!!

Happy Haunting!
Tracey.

Update: Here’s Papa all done up as Dredd

DIY Dredd Costume at itsnannasplace.com
Papa’s Judge Dredd costume from the back.
DIY Judge Dredd costume Halloween 2011 at itsnannasplace.com
“I am the law”

 

And We’re Back! For Real!

We are back indeed! Mostly. After a crash and issues with the back up I thought all hope was lost for this little blog. But if nothing else I am stubborn and kept at it. Lo and behold I was able to save 80 of the original posts.

The next issue though, was it worth it to save them? All the pictures need retagging and most of those posts are three years old. Is it worth it? All that time it’s going to take could be used for new posts, new content.

After much struggle and waging war with myself, I have decided that YES! it’s very worth restoring those poor old posts. Not only will It help make sense of all to come here on the blog. But I believe that some times you must take a step back in order to propel yourself forwards.

And so I is. Now so as not to confuse any of our new readers, all of the old posts will be tagged with the category “Lost Posts” before their sub tags. This should help find topics you are looking for, and give you a heads up that the info in said posts is older. Fair enough?

Also Coming to It’s Nanna’s Place:

I’m so excited to tease that I’m working on an eBook…

And this month will bring new printables and resource library materials,

FOR FREE!

Because we love you and appreciate your ongoing love and support to achieve our goals and dreams!

So that’s it for the now, I’m off to work on all the goodies we want to share with you!

Blessings to you and yours,

 

Candles and Coffee

Today, as most others any more, has been draining. For no particular reason. Just the speed of life. Always things to do, cross off the list only to be replaced with a new set of to-do’s for the following day, or week. Whatever the current schedule may be.

It was whilst printing out pictures for a Christmas book I’m putting together for E, that it dawned on me, no one stops to acknowledge their accomplishments any more. I am definitely guilty of this. But why? Are we so busy doing? So busy we forget to get off the hamster wheel from time to time and just be?

Well, yes. I believe it comes down to success. No matter what that means for each person. We are driven to do stuff, so that we feel like we are doing a good job. But honestly, who cares? Who is going to stop long enough to tell us? Is it not our stuff and we then are the only ones that know if we did great or not? And if we can not pat ourselves on the back and have it be enough encouragement, what then?

But why do we not take time to enjoy our hard work? Why do we not stop and smell the roses? Light candles and sip coffee, just to enjoy the room we rearranged, again. That was my goal this evening and oh my! It was difficult at first, to set aside thoughts of all that “needs” doing. But after skyping with Baby E (which I am so thankful for), I refocused, starting with the crackle of my new FireSide candle.

Just the sound has made a difference. It sounds like a mini fireplace. Watching the flame dance to its own tune, illuminating the various bottles recycled as plant holders, warming shelf space that previously was just “there.” Sipping fresh hot coffee has also helped me slow down and enjoy the new photo arrangement on the wall. It has become cozy with an energy all of its own. Making this house a home has been challenging, but rewarding.

I wonder then, is it possible to get things done AND appreciate our surroundings at the same time? I would like to hope so. Yet I have but two speeds. Break-neck, and putter. Hmm. Learning to acknowledge accomplishments, even for a moment, has changed my out look and over all feeling about everything I do. Whether its on a list or not.

It has been lovely to enjoy all the smiling beautiful faces of my family. To remember what it has taken to get here. I wonder, how do you stop to smell the roses? What’s your version of candles and coffee? Do you take time to really enjoy your work, no matter how big or small a task or project? Pat yourselves on the back dear hearts!

Namaste,
Tracey.

A place for fun, messy creatives and the good old fashioned crazy and fun comforts of home.

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