More of my Julie Nutting doll layouts

I just love these stamps and all the possibilities.

Happy Braandi Birthday

Happy Braandi Birthday 



Back to school

Back to school

East, sleep, craft, repeat

East, sleep, craft, repeat

A cat's life

A cat’s life

Hey there sailor

Hey there sailor

Paris is always a good idea

Paris is always a good idea

Out of Africa

Out of Africa

Sweet Treats

Sweet Treats

You've got mail

You’ve got mail

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink

Golf, take the time to enjoy the little things

Golf, take the time to enjoy the little things

I believe in fairies

I believe in fairies

I believe in fairies

I believe in fairies



I need vitamin sea

I need vitamin sea

You can't control the sea by staring at the water

You can’t control the sea by staring at the water

More Julie Nutting doll layouts

I am completely obsessed with the Julie Nutting stamps, I just love them.

Last weekend, I spend several hours preparing my new layouts so that in the evening, I can sit in the lounge room and watch TV with my husband and still craft.

I prepared 10 new layouts and have finished a few already, it takes a lot less time when all the papers are cut and stamped and put into a ziplock bag ready to craft.

Here are some more of my recent layouts.

 Julie Nutting doll layout, I love Mandurah

Julie Nutting doll layout, I love Mandurah







 Julie Nutting doll layout, St Patrick's Day

Julie Nutting doll layout, St Patrick’s Day

 Julie Nutting doll layout, Wine and cheese

Julie Nutting doll layout, Wine and cheese

My Julie Nutting paper doll layouts,

I love art and crafts and my latest projects are Julie Nutting paper dolls. I’m not sure how many  there are, but I just love them,

During times of stress, people do different things, I craft, I can sit in my craft room and watch my TV and craft, be it colouring, cutting or just anything crafting.

I’m going to try and have lots of layouts to sit on my desk at work like a rolodex, with a different theme for each day, so I have set myself a rather large task of creating them.

Here’s some of my first layouts

Julie Nutting doll layout In the lounge

Julie Nutting doll layout In the lounge

This was my first attempt of doing paper dolls, at first I found them quite daunting cutting them out, but I got quite proficient with my knife cutting out all the little bits and pieces. I made this one about 12 months ago before I got any stamps printed them on printing paper and glued them on the board and used my Faber Castell big brush markers to do the shading. It’s about 36 inches long and I made the mistake of glueing the paper for the wallpaper down without wetting it first, so I had bubbles that were hard to remove. So I just put some texture paste with a brick work stencil and covered the bubbles up.

Julie Nutting doll layout At the office

Julie Nutting doll layout At the office

This was my first actual layout and I am quite pleased with it. I’m going to try and use multiple craft methods in each layout, stamping, die cutting, stickers, colouring, patterned paper and at least 1 paper doll.

Julie Nutting doll layout At the office

Julie Nutting doll layout At the office

I really enjoyed making this one, I had made the BBQ and food stuff ages ago, just needed something to put it on, and the background paper was a sheet already patterned.

Julie Nutting doll layout Let's make coffee

Julie Nutting doll layout Let’s make coffee

I love coffee, so I had to make this one, I think I will make lots of different coffee ones as I have a few stamps and dies to use.

Julie Nutting Doll layout Valentines Day

Julie Nutting Doll layout Valentines Day

Of course with Valentines Day, I had to make one, trying to find 2 dolls of similar size, was my first hurdle, but once decided I thought it came together quite well.

Some of my artwork from years ago

I first learnt how to paint by learning folk art, unfortunately, I didn’t really enjoy it and wanted to learn what I called proper painting, so as soon as I learnt how to do the brushstrokes, I moved on to proper painting.


This paper towel holder was one of my very early pieces, and I was very proud of it.

Once I started proper painting I started painting teddies and animals, this was what I called decorative painting










I was also making cloth dolls, they were the primitive type until I started making moulded faces, fingers and toes that were covered in cloth  and were jointed.

Primitve dolls

Primitve dolls

Primitve dolls



My Review of Phantom of the Opera Regal Theatre in Perth

The Phantom of the Opera (1986 musical)

The Phantom of the Opera (1986 musical) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over 20 years ago, Grumpy and I had the most wonderful experience sponsored by Clark Sinks Australia of flying business class to Sydney, staying at the Regent hotel overlooking the Sydney Opera House and excellent tickets to see the Phantom of the Opera and the Regal Theatre with Marina Prior and Rob Guest, we had 3 days in Sydney and as we had nothing to do after checkout and the time of our flight was early evening, went to the airport and was upgraded to 1st class home to Perth.

The whole weekend was nothing short of magical.

So when Grumpy asked me if I was interested in going to see the Phantom, I said yes please, he was listening to the radio when he heard them giving away free tickets, he knew that I loved the Phantom and would jump at the chance.

So he went on line and booked 2 tickets, printed them out and we were going.

He booked the tickets for Friday, which was the middle week of the show. We had to ensure that we left work on time as the traffic has been quite banked up lately especially since the Freeway works have started.

We were ½ an hour late leaving the office which didn’t help with the traffic, made it home with enough time for him to go over to the home (I forgot to mention, both Grumpy’s mum and dad are now in the Care Facility across the road from us, so we have our house and lives back again) for a quick visit and have a little snack, shower and change ready for our trip on the train into the city.

We left Mandurah train station at 3.45pm on the train got into the city and walked to the train to take us to Subiaco, and wouldn’t you believe it, the trains were not running that evening after 7:00pm so we would have to bus it. No big deal, we would deal with that after the show.

We got on the second train and on the second stop got off at Subiaco, Rockeby Road at 5:10pm and walked up the street (it was COLD, luckily we wore jackets) and realised we had a couple of hours before the show started. We looked around to see where we could go and have a drink for a while, most of the shops and cafes were closed or closing their doors, so we went to the Llama Bara & Grill and had a few drinks Grumpy had a couple of beers and a very costly, strong horrible smelling scotch on ice and I had a couple of cups of minute (if they were any smaller they would be called thimbles) coffee and a flat (they took so long to bring it, it lost all its bubbles) lemon squash.  We ordered some wagyu beef sliders (mini – tiny hamburgers) for supper, they were divine actually and presented very artfully.

The bar started filling up with patrons both inside and outside in the freezing cold (the idiot smokers, I don’t get it, they stand outside shivering to buggery and smoke instead of being inside in the warmth) and the excitement was growing, some of the patrons had Phantom of the Opera T-shirts on they were either part of the troupe or excited fans, like me.

It was time to go across to the theatre, we went upstairs to find that we couldn’t get in to sit down until 7:30 only 5 minutes before the show was due to start. We sat next to a family that had come on the train from Secret Harbour and we discussed that fact that we had seen the show in Sydney, but they topped me, they had seen in twice, once in London and another time in Sydney, so we all had something to compare with.

It’s now more than 20 years since we saw the show the first time, we have come a long way in that time, so we expected something magical.

I will say, before I start my tirade that the music and vocals were spectacular, I especially loved the phantom, his makeup when he took his mask off from where we were sitting was fantastic, the actors / singers and dancers provided us with a show that if you listened to the show from backstage you could find no fault.

What we got, however, from an audience, was a complete disappointment, the props, I believe were completely lacking. When the props were being changed, the girls with their long blonde hair, kept walking in front of the cream curtains so you could see everything that they were doing instead of behind the curtains, they would move a prop onto the stage and walk off in front of the curtain. The props were very amateurish and certainly for this type of international show would have expected a great deal more.

The gondolier, when it came on to the stage was only half a boat and it was clearly visible where they stopped the black lining of the boat and you could see the chipboard on the inside of the boat.

The costumes were the most disappointing of all, there was very little colour in the whole production, most of the troupe wore black.

The cast going to the opera all wore black dresses (what is it with colour with the set and costume designer of this production) and the only scrap of colour were the jewellery that they wore.

For a masquerade ball one would expect colour, colour and more colour, dresses, masks and jewellery, however in this production, the costume designer chose black skirts & tops for all of the women (some of the troupe were larger or plus size women and when they lifted their hands when they were dancing, you could see their midriff), not dresses, all the same with black masks for the women and the men wore black jackets and pants with grey cravats.

Christine the lead female was also a plus size woman, she thankfully had a blue skirt and top on, and when she lifted her arms, you could see her stomach.

Even the ballet dancers wore bland colours with little slithers of fabric added for different scenes, there was ample time for clothing changes as there were times during the production where the stage was completely empty, music playing songs sung, but an empty stage, it would have been better to have dancers rather than an empty stage.

The chandelier was a disappointment, in that when it was lifted, there was a beaded thread hanging down, which showed in my opinion lack of care and maintenance, why not cut the dangling thread off.

In the second act, there were 3 characters that did come out in colourful costumes, they were the saving grace of colour for the production.

In summary;

Would I go and see the same production again,   not in this lifetime,

Would I recommend the show,   with the costuming and props as they stand, no

Was the ticket price worth the show,   definitely not,

Am I glad I went,   yes just to hear the music again.

What would I have done to make a difference,

Colourful dresses and masks for the women, colourful jackets, trousers, cravats and masks for the men

I would have added more and colourful touches to the props

I would have watched the production from an audience perspective to see what we see, that way the problems that I raised would have been dealt with before the show went public.

Christmas (Xmas) in July Grainger Style

IMAG2222[1] IMAG2217[1] IMAG2230[1] IMAG2229[1] IMAG2228[1] IMAG2227[1] IMAG2226[1]IMAG2216[1]IMAG2225[1] IMAG2224[1] IMAG2219[1]

I love Christmas, well Santa’s really.

I have loads and loads of Santa’s and his helpers, some hand made and some bought, but I love them all.

10 years ago our  sons moved out of home and that was the last time that my Santa’s and his helpers saw the light of day. Last November, due to major health issues my in-laws moved into our home, and Grumpy Grainger decided that the Santa’s and his helpers could move to our lock up, poor buggers, banished to the cold and damp. So he picked them all up and took them down to the dark and damp lock up, where they sat waiting patiently for me to set our house up at Christmas time, that wasn’t going to happen or organise a  Xmas in July.

What started out as me wanting to set up our home with the Santa’s and his helpers turned out to be a wonderful evening.

I initially put up an expression of interest for our friends on Facebook, expecting no more than about 20 of our friends, and all of our friends said that they wanted to come, so I decided to contact our club and see if we could hold the function (the numbers had grown to about 40 people at this stage and we didn’t want to have that many people in our home on a cold winters evening) at the MOFSC, well it took a bit of pressure on my part with a lot of pressure from Grumpy and we finally agreed on a cost for the meal and the night so I then created flyers and tickets, and each Thursday and Friday evenings I put flyers around the club and on the Saturday evenings, the girls from the restaurant put more flyers on the tables.

Well the numbers got to 72 on the evening, however 1 couple were not able to come as poor Marina broke her arm on her bike the previous weekend, so we had 70 attendees.

It was so much fun, the theme for Secret Santa presents was naughty or nice, and everyone had to buy a gift for the same sex to the value of $15, wrap it in newspaper and put a B for boy and G for girl on it, some people didn’t read the instructions very well and wrapped then pressies in pretty or Xmas paper.

We had a big blow up Santa on a Harley Davidson in the corner, on loan from Diane & Coleman, Anita borrowed some fantastic reindeer (Some were handmade) from her art class, we had a true Aussie Christmas tree (a potted green ficus), with g strings attached, decorated in true Christmas form and Santa’s and their helpers everywhere. The dinner started at 6:30 and once it was dark outside and the lights on the setting was like a true Christmas grotto.

Some of the pressies were a real laugh and everyone got into the spirit of the evening, I even dressed up as Sassy (my friend Bryan called me Sexy) Mother Christmas with my lovely short dress, stockings and broken suspenders.

A big thankyou to the ladies who came and helped me set up the Santa’s and the tables.

All we have to do now is book again for next year, I am thinking the theme might be hand made or DIY??

My Reveiw of the Pink concert Friday 28th June 2013

I have never been to a concert before, so this was a new experience for me.

I have to say the concert was fantastic!!!!!

The pre show function at the Sheraton was NOT!!

When we got the tickets, there were none available to purchase in WA, so one of my friends who also wanted to go, was able to get some from the Eastern states for a WA concert!! how bazaar, the only tickets that were available were gold class, which included drinks and canapés at the Sheraton for an hour as pre show function. The tickets were not cheap, $350 per person, I thought this was outrages, however Grumpy wanted to go, so I said ok.

Sue bought and paid for the tickets, we paid Sue and last week we received the tickets and the pre show function ticket.

We decided to go into the city on the train, as we were getting on the train at the beginning of the line, we got seats, however we sat on the wrong side and got the sun in our face the whole time.

Not a problem, we were going into the city to a concert.

The train trip was quick and very pleasant, we all said why don’t we do this more often, because we are too busy boating.

I wanted to have something light to eat as I wasn’t sure what the canapés would consist of so we went into Fast Eddies for a drink and something light. Well that was a disaster, they wouldn’t serve our friends or Grumpy a beer or glass of wine as they were not having a main meal, I ordered a BLT and milkshake (I haven’t had one in so many years I can’t remember) and Grumpy ordered a bruschetta still no drinks, so we decided to finish up and go to the Sheraton for a drink before the pre show function.

Still all good

We have our drink and go into the function room and this is where the issues began, the cost of this was $200 as the tickets were priced at $150. The only drinks on offer were beer (limited amount, not type) white wine and champagne, I had to ask for a glass of water, I did get one after about 10 minutes and it was warm tap water. Remembering that the function was only for an hour, I was not impressed. The food (canapés) was trays and trays of sushi and a horrible squishy looking thing with prawns in it. I don’t eat sushi so didn’t have any, I took one of the squishy prawn things, and touching it made me squirm, it was gooey and felt slimy, I took one bite and had to spit it out, it had 1 tiny prawn and it was full of coriander in it. I put it on the table near me, and low and behold lots of other people had the same idea, there were more uneaten of these things sitting on this table than people in the room

Lots of trays of food were coming out but unfortunately it was all the same.

about 6.15, the wait staff started bringing out red wine, so this increased the choice of drinks somewhat.

At about 6.35 some of the wait staff brought out trays of skewers with prawns & capsicum on them(whoever came up with the menu should be shot), I of course took one as I had paid to have some food, so I thought I would have one. WORST thing I could have done, there was a huge lump of chilli in the prawn and I started to cough quite loudly, Sue by now was getting really annoyed went outside the function doors and complained to the staff that there was not a single soft drink, water or juice on offer.

About 5 minutes later, I got 2 drinks a sprite and a squash, so things were looking a little better.

At 6.45pm the wait staff started bringing out little beef rolls not much bigger than a 50c piece, yes I did manage to get one, and yes it was nice.

at 6.55pm (5 minutes before the function was due to end, I might add and half the people had left the function room) the wait staff brought out fried chicken pieces, yes I got one of those as well and then we left to go to the concert.

Moral of this story, just because you pay exorbitant money for a pre show function does not mean it is going to be worth it and in this case it certainly wasn’t.

This is where the highlight of the night began, the concert. I cannot say enough about the show, Pink herself, she is so humble and down to earth.

if I ever have the opportunity to see anther concert, it would definitely be Pink. The lighting, dancers, Pink and the comedian little fellow was just fabulous. I have listened to her songs and seen some of her music DVD’s but not really taken much time to watch, she is a very athletic person and her routines showed this.




Column of Colour – 1 dress several ways

Column of colour black dress

You could wear the same dress for a whole week (if you washed it each night of course) and nobody would be the wiser.

Just a simple change of accessories, shoes and bags can completely change your entire outfit.

Column of colour black dress.2

Just a quick change of shoes, jackets and accessories

Column of colour black dress.3

You can wear the same dress for all seasons just add a jacket and the dress can be worn for winter.

Pastrami Stuffed Shells with Honey Mustard Onion Sauce

Don’t these look fantastic

Tales of an Overtime Cook

pastrami shells 1

I feel like this dish should have been created ages before it was. Stuffed shells are a total staple of my cooking repertoire. I’ve done dairy stuffed shells, made with a cheesy filling. I’ve done meat stuffed shells with a ground meat filling. I’ve added vegetables to give it a healthy twist, and played around with spices.

And suddenly when my sister and I were planning our recent holiday meals, another type of stuffed shells hit me. Why not stuff the shells with a delicious pastrami filling? And instead of the classic tomato sauce to bake it in, I knew I’d pare this with pastrami’s friend honey mustard.

And it worked so well! Not only did it serve up beautifully, but everyone licked their plates clean. So whether you’re serving this as an appetizer or a side dish, this fun and innovative take will be sure to please!

pastrami shells 2

Pastrami Stuffed…

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