A farewell.. of sorts.

This is the final blog post for this blog.

It isn’t my final blog post ever, just for this blog. I am trying to streamline my life more, and this means cutting back on certain things. So I have decided to only have one blog. Much as I like the WordPress for many things, Blogspot suits my needs more. And no I’m not going to pay to self host WordPress. πŸ™‚

So, if you would like to continue to read my sporadic ramblings be sure to follow me at my other blog.

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Happy Holidays

I dont think I have ever actually done a Christmas/Holiday greeting blog post before. I wonder if there is a formula, things one is supposed to say? So I will have to wing it as best I can.
The holiday season is a difficult one for me, many memories that I would rather forget, however I have children and I believe that they deserve to have Christmas memories that are good and worth remembering. But in our family our focus is not on having a huge feast, or getting lots of ridiculously expensive presents. Our focus is quite simply being together. A couple of years ago my gifts to my kids were Ambulance cover and a new working home phone. Most years they get clothes.. yes jocks and socks. And you know what, they appreciate it. They understand that the thought is more important than the cost.
So my Christmas wish for all, is that you get joy from the little things at this time of year… the joy on the face of a child catching sight of Santa, the hug from a distant relative, the smile from a loved one, the sound of ripping paper and laughter. For one day put aside the anger over a harsh word, the stress of financial worries, the past events that taint family get togethers and be thankful for the good things you do have.
Being thankful is something one should try to do everyday, but I am more than well aware of how difficult that can be… so make an extra special effort to make sure you have at least one shining day.
From me and all my family…
Happy Holidays, may joy be with you.
HaffinaCreations πŸ™‚

Success!

The other day I was chatting with my gem queen, Deb from Crysallis Gems, whilst I was swimming in ‘da bukkit’ (nickname for the most gorgeous, sparkly treasure trove ever!). I had come across some darling little gemstone cabochons. By little I mean 6mm and 7mm across. Now as obsessed as I am with miniatures I wondered if I could turn these little marvels into miniature jewellery by beading around them.

Deb, as usual, thought I was nuts!

Last night I was lying in bed when I remembered that I had a couple of small faux opal cabochons that someone had gifted me. I had pretty much ignored them because they were too small for the type of jewellery I was making at the time. Now these cabs are bigger than Deb’s babies, but are small enough to give a good idea if a beaded cab this size is feasible.

So today I sat down to try it out. I grabbed some 15/o seed beads, fireline and a scrap of Ultrasuede (I knew I kept the tiny bits for a reason!). Fast forward a hour or two and I now have a Barbie sized beaded cabochon with spiral rope necklace, finished with a ‘beaded toggle’.

Excuse the quality of the pictures, but I was very eager to share and snapped a few quick shots. And excuse the state of undress of the Barbie model – her owner (3yrs old) believes Barbie does not need clothing.LOL

A new adventure

So here we are at the beginning of October, the beginning of daylight savings in Australia, the beginning of the onset of the silly season. I am also at the beginning of a new venture, or adventure as the case may be. But as with all beginnings, something must end.

In this case the end is signified by the closing of three of my online stores. My Madeit.com.au store never really got off the ground properly, and after not paying any listing fees on ArtFire I struggled with the idea of listing and sales fees. I love that there is an Australian marketplace online, it just wasn’t working for me. I downgraded my Zibbet a couple of months ago and slowly have been moving items to HaffinaCreations on ArtFire and HAF. Again, I really just didn’t see to find my feet there and after a year or so of paying with no sales at all I decided it was time to move on. My Etsy store has gone the same way. 10 months of relisting, promoting and getting involved with the community there brought no sales and that, along with my displeasure at the way certain things were handled by admin there, resulted in my deciding to close up shop.

In the end what really happened is that HaffinaAgain ceased to be. All three of the stores I closed were actually HaffinaAgain. I did make some good friends and contacts through these outlets, and I don’t regret trying them out, but it has solidified for me how much more comfortable I am on ArtFire, and on HAF.

So with that ending, what is the beginning? Well, let me introduce you to my new studio on ArtFire, along with HaffinaCreations and BeadsByHaffina.

Haffina’s Minis is my newest venture, an outlet for my obsession with miniatures. I have begun to build quite a collection of pieces that I have made that fit the miniatures category, and I have plans for many more. If you have been reading this blog you will know I like tiny things, and I like to make tiny things, so it seemed a natural next step. Haffina’s Minis will have a range of items, from polymer clay food and other polymer clay miniatures to furniture, home decor and clothing. I have even managed to pique my mum’s interest enough for her to consider doing miniature cross stitch and embroidery to be made into cushions and the like. Now the store is very new and not well stocked so far, but in time it will fill up even more, so make sure to check it out regularly.

Now, just a final add on. October will mark the return of my Crazy Cinematic Challenge. I WILL create at least one piece specifically for the challenge this month..so stay tuned.

A Mishmash of Mutterings

We are nearly halfway through September and I am finally back here to make another post. There are a few things to catch up, so this post will be a mash-up.

Firstly, I have not forgot my Crazy Cinematic Challenge… it just went on hiatus for August.. and probably September. August was a very tough month for me and I am just beginning to make my way back to full speed.

For those who may not have read earlier posts, my best friend passed away right at the end of July.. I didnt hear until just into August. It came as a huge shock to me, and I have struggled to come to terms with it. Attending her funeral helped a little to face it and start the grieving process properly.

Then the day after my friend’s funeral my mum had to get one of her little dogs put down. Annie, a Jack Russell Terrier, was quite an old lady, around 15yrs old in human years. She survived two run-ins with motor vehicles in her life, resulting in bladder issues, as well as becoming blind and deaf. Her ‘sister’ Tilly (Miniature Fox Terrier) is slowly adjusting to life without her friend. It was quite difficult for my mum, and for our whole family.

A couple of days after that my mum returned to Melbourne to continue caring for my terminally ill grandfather. She literally visited for about 18 days, long enough to kick the house into gear and support me through the funeral. I miss having her around, but I also take comfort knowing she is by my grandfather’s side. His illness is progressing at a slow rate, and causing a lot of pain and discomfort. He went into respite whilst mum was over here, and ended up in hospital for a week of the 3 weeks he was meant to be there. I know sometimes my mum feels so torn, and during that week she was constantly on tenterhooks. Grandpa actually told her not to come back until she was supposed to.. he knew how much she needed a break… only it wasnt much of a break in the end. 😦

Added to all of that, after my mum left, one of my sons needed an intervention.Β  It is not easy to watch your 14yr old drowning himself in drugs and alcohol for no apparent reason. We stepped in fairly early, but it is still a very difficult process for everyone and it is still very early days..even if to him it feels like ‘ages’.

So we managed to progress through August… just. Then September arrived. The first half of September is always a bit hectic. We have Father’s Day, the twin’s 15th birthday, the anniversary of my father’s passing, the anniversary of my wedding (yes we got divorced..but we still remember it..long story LOL) and my man’s birthday… all this before the middle of the month. And later in the month is my Grandfather’s 94th birthday.

Gosh..Im tired just reading through this, and Im thinking I need something to lighten the mood. Well… I have something.

My gorgeous daughter, 3 and a half, likes to make me toast and put on her own washing, decided to give herself a haircut. With a half broken pair of scissors she managed to take nearly 5 inches off her hair. She went from having hair hanging down her back to ear length. It isnt the first time she attacked her hair with scissors..but the other times were minor and easily hidden. This time she had done half her head before anyone noticed. So I trimmed up the rest and took her to the hairdresser to get it tidied up. I was going to get her a haircut shortly.. just not so short LOL! She still looks gorgeous and the cut actually suits her..even if it does make her look older.

Oh and the best news ever! The Polymer Clay Smoosher’s have had a round robin box travelling around. Well, somewhere between Germany and Australia it vanished. We frankly had given up hope, it was nearly 3 months without sighting. Then the day I took the little one for her haircut I went to the post office and found a card in the box telling me there was a parcel to collect. When the post lady put this box on the counter I just kind of stared at it, thinking ‘Im not expecting anything like this’, when suddenly it twigged! And there was indication it was from Germany and then I was standing there flapping my mouth like a fish! Inside was a smorgasbord of polymer clay goodies from my polymer clay buddies, including a special delivery from Coltpixy. To say we were all delighted it showed up is an understatement! Below is a pic of the pieces I chose from the box before adding my own pieces and sending it on its way.

And here is a picture to show how amazing Coltpixy is. On the right is the first bread basket she made for me.. really cool in its own way.Β  On the left is the second one she made when she figured out a way to weave the polymer clay. Absolutely amazing. If you are wondering on the size check the picture of my daughter above..she is holding them.

I must remember to take a photo of the baskets with my miniatures breads in them.. as well as showing you the other Coltpixy goodies I now have!

Anyway, this is a really long blog post now.. almost an essay really..so if you have stayed this long, well done! Hopefully I wont be away for as long next time.

The Lure of Little Things

I like little things.

By little I’m not referring to children or animals.. unless you are meaning miniatures. Because that’s what I’m talking about. I have been sucked into the world of miniatures and I couldn’t be happier.

Not only do I like looking at miniatures, I like making them, especially out of polymer clay. I started out with miniature food, like cakes and bread but I am slowly moving into other areas. My goal is eventually to build room boxes filled with pieces I have made myself.

The other day I was chatting with my pal Betty, aka LiveMini, and we were talking about 1:24th scale creations, including figures to put in a scene. I quite stupidly said it would be easy to make a 1:24th scale person… although I did say it tongue in cheek. Not long after one of my other friends, Coltpixy, sent me a fabulous tute on mapping faces. Now I cannot draw faces to save my life, and other faces I have sculpted have only barely been recognisable as human, but with the help of this tutorial, and a bit of patience, I actually managed to sculpt a fairly good 1:24th scale head. I then went on to make a 1:12th scale head. Both are currently sans eyes, hair, body, clothing etc but I did prove to myself that I can sculpt a face even if I cannot draw one.

Not the best photograph, but it does indicate two fairly human heads.

Sculpting these two has increased my love of all things tiny and solidified my drive to create miniatures, even if only for myself.

Now I am aware that you can get molds to make dolls from and faces from, but like my dear friend Coltpixy I believe every face is individual, and the same is true of faces that we sculpt. You will not see me making molds of these guys or any other faces I make, every one will be One Of A Kind, a unique creation just like every person on the planet.

So keep an eye on this little blog, as I am sure to show you some more mini creations over the coming months

Remembering.

A long time ago, nearly 25 years to be more precise, I was mucking around at the Strathalbyn Swimming Pool, doing backflips off the diving blocks, when a girl I had never seen before asked me to show her how. It turned out she was new to the town. From that day on we were friends. To me she will always be that Sofie, those times are the ones I will forever hold on to. She passed away recently, and it has left a whole in me that will remain forever.

Sofie or Sophie or Sophy (depending on her mood) was my ‘sister’. We were so alike and so different. I was the nerdy square bear, and she was the rebellious rule breaker. But we were best friends. We helped each other through some harrowing times. She is the only person who truly knows what I experienced as a child, she was the one who saw it and experienced it with me, even after everyone else had turned away.

As we got older our lives took different paths, but whenever we spoke or got together it was as if no time had passed. I loved her like a sister and her, I. We had each other’s back. I cannot remember us ever having a fight, even though we didnt agree on a lot of things, we just accepted that we were different.

Her world changed in unexpected ways when she had a child at 15, and I can still remember that day clearly. Her son has grow up into an adult now, and I hope he knows how much he was loved, even when it didnt look like it. Years later she had another son, one that I never got a chance to meet, but Sof often spoke of him. We didnt see much of each other as we both got older, our lives diverged further and further over the years…but our friendship remained. She was always my best bud, and every time we communicated there was no doubting the love and the bond.

Some people have heard me tell the story of how ‘Haffina’ came to be. I tell the story of my friend who always called me Niffer, instead of Jennifer. That was Sofie. It was over a Strong Bow that we decided the spelling should be Niffah, and that’s how it stayed. Sof and Niff against the world! When I went to get a yahoo email I couldnt get Niffah, so I turned it around and added an ‘A’… Haffina was born… and it always will be a reminder of my dear friend.

Sofie used to say she wouldnt make it to 21, and when she did, we both said she wouldnt make it to 30..but she did. I wish now we’d said she wouldnt make it to 40, cos then she might still be here.

There are so many things that remind me of her, of the times we spent together, the things we did together. All the fun, and the silly things and the ‘dont tell mum’ things. I will cherish every memory, and I will share them and her with my kids and my friends, because she deserves to be remembered for the friend that she was. She accepted me for me, and I accepted her for her.

Sofie will always be with me, my friend, my sister, forever.

R.I.P. Sofie, you are safe from the demons now.