Friday, 16 February 2018


More school deaths in USA!  This time I want to draw attention to the teachers and auxiliary staff gunned down. 

Aaron Feis

“Aaron Feis, assistant American football coach at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, is being hailed as a hero for shielding students from bullets. He was fatally injured after diving in front of a pupil.”  BBC 
A student witness said that Mr Feis was protecting several  students:

Chris Hixton

“Those who knew ( Athletic Director ) Chris Hixon from his days at Pleasant Valley High School weren’t surprised to learn that he likely put his life on the line to protect students caught in the deadly school shooting at a south Florida high school on Valentine’s Day.
Hixon was one of the 17 gunned down, allegedly by a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. When a volleyball team needed a fill-in coach, Hixon took over; the same thing happened with the wrestling team, Sanzari said. And when the school needed someone to patrol the campus and monitor threats as a security specialist, Hixon did that, too.
It was in the security role that Hixon apparently came within range of the shooter, according to the AP.”   The Morning Call newspaper

Scott Beigel

“A geography teacher, (Scott ) Beigel was shot and killed after unlocking his door and letting students in to hide from the gunman, Nikolas Cruz. Beigel, 35, was one of the 17 people killed in the shooting.
Stoneman Douglas student Kelsey Friend said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” that Beigel saved her life.
“He unlocked the door and let us in,” Friend said. “I had thought he was behind me, but he wasn’t. When he opened the door, he had to re-lock it so we could stay safe, but he didn’t get the chance to.
“He was in the doorway and the door was still open and the shooter probably didn’t know we were in there because he was lying on the floor. If the shooter had come in the room, I probably wouldn’t be [alive].”  Sun Sentinel

Those are the ones I know about so far. 

“No more, no more, no more (no more)
No more, no more, no more (no more)
No more, no more, no more (no more)
No more, no more, no more (no more)
Holding me like your shield
Holding me like your shield
Holding me like your shield
Holding me like your shield”

Fear Factory- Human Shields

Note, examples I’ve given throughout this post of school staff murdered on campus are chosen at random, and only a small percentage of the huge number. 

Teachers in USA are getting killed when they go to work. Throwing themselves between bullets and their students, they are hailed as heroes. Or they are just there. That is so incomprehensible to right thinking people! In fact it’s insanity. Teachers go to work to impart knowledge, not to be human shields, or cannon fodder.

The National Education Association , a liberal leaning teacher Union, said on their website:

“Congress needs to muster the courage to pass commonsense reforms
In the wake of the school shooting in Florida and the ongoing epidemic of gun violence plaguing our nation, we must continue to advocate for common-sense steps to help make our communities safer.
Our Democratic leaders have held sit-ins, tried to close the “terror gap,” ban bump stocks, as well as bipartisan groups looking at compromises on “no fly, no buy” measures.  But Congress remains at a standstill.  Such inaction makes our country, our children and our schools less safe.
Congress needs to muster the courage to pass commonsense reforms supported by a large majority of the country. “

Geepers, I’m sure Congress is quaking in their boots at that mild mannered statement! A Congress dominated by Republican senators who have received vast sums of money from the NRA, the pro gun lobby. Words aren’t going to change their minds!

The teachers’ union did not say they are going to take industrial action because of the teachers, their constituency, being killed. Why not?

 In Australia, the teachers unions are strong, and when they go on strike, (usually for their own rights) governments have to take notice. Pressure from highly inconvenienced parents during strikes, makes them do so. Hypothetically, I think teachers would strike for better gun laws here, if they were getting killed. If they did, legislation would certainly improve. (We have much safer gun laws here, so my daughter goes off to school in the mornings and I don’t have to fear for her life. )

One problem I notice, is that the National teacher unions and associations in USA are split down partisan and state lines. There seems to be the NEA, mentioned above, a liberal group of some millions. Not huge by USA population standards. Then they have another, more conservative group, 
“a non political, non lobbying Association”, (Wikipedia ) the  Association of American Educators; the American Federation of Teachers and others, including state unions.
With such a splintered front, they wonder about the sorry state of many public schools in USA! 

But hey, it’s ok, Melania Trump gave high performing schools a story book. Which teacher gets to hold that up to stop bullets from hitting their chest? Is there a monthly roster?

More teachers need to join unions, too, to the benefit of both themselves and their students, as there is strength in numbers. From my reading, it appears most private school teachers are not in unions. Well, these teachers getting killed, should change that, shouldn’t it? Shouldn’t individuals’ survival instincts kick in? Well maybe not, if they think their union isn’t going to strike even to save their lives.

American Federation of Teachers charges $40 for basic membership, which promises some level of support and protection, and state they have 1.7 million members. Surely with that money, they could mount some good industrial action, regarding federal and state gun control.

Death is death, and occupational safety should overcome divides. A shooter or bomber can walk into either an independent secular, church or public school. If the professional groups could agree to lobby as a united force, to march in protests, and go on strike, it might help to get better gun laws passed to protect the teachers from death in their workplace. Isn’t it the job of all unions to strongly lobby for Occupational Health and Safety, as well as wages and conditions of their members?

“And school's out early and soon we'll be learning
And the lesson today is how to die
And then the bullhorn crackles
And the captain tackles
With the problems and the how's and why's
And he can see no reasons
'Cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need to die, die”

Bob Geldof - I don’t like Mondays

The Boomtown Rats - I Don't Like Mondays:

Teachers and their students getting killed should transcend party political lines, and ALL teacher associations and unions in the USA , both big and small, should get together to make the establishment sit up and take notice. You don’t make an omelette without cracking eggs. Go on strike, all of you, as one united front, and maybe while the kids are forced to stay home, they will be safe for a brief period from being shot, so will the teachers.

I would say Rest In Peace to those wonderful teachers that received totally outrageous deaths , NOT in the line of duty, and not what they signed up for. However, I doubt they are resting in peace. They are probably floating in the afterlife, wondering why they paid those union dues, if they did.

This post is being forwarded to teacher unions and associations in USA.

What readers around the world can do:

There are many petitions regarding gun attacks in schools on, and that is only one of the petition sites.  Below are three of the most relevant now.

* A different and clever market based gun control petition, that might even appeal to US Republicans :

* The most recent background checks petition:

* American doctors calling for “1) ban the sale of automatic and semiautomatic assault weapons, 2) instate universal background checks and 3) lift restrictions on studies relating to the effects of gun violence on public health.” :

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

VALENTINES BABIES - building memories

The Indian Cupid, image below:

Since this month is Acerule’s 16 th birthday, I was thinking back recently, to when she had her first “boyfriend”. 

I remember, long after they parted for good, Ace would ask wistfully for K1, saying she missed him. 

They were faithful playmates, she was a tiny little thing of around two, that used to put her shoes on the wrong way round. He was a child of South Indian parents that lived across the driveway from us. Here they are , with her dressed in North Indian/Pakistani dress that I bought from an Indian shop in Blacktown NSW. Her jade bracelet was also a Christening gift from her grandfather. The Indian and Pakistani families were pleased when Acerules dressed up that day.

Ain’t they so dang adorable? K1 was a very good boy. Acerules and I used to pick him up from preschool, and take him home while his Mum was at work. They would play with our grey kitten, who we still have, and admire the chocolate coloured rabbit , Cadbury, who was too mean tempered to play with. 
They used to sit on the floor in front of me, and watch Bob the Builder animated TV show. The theme song would come on, and the lyrics were “Bob the builder, can he fix it?” I would respond loudly “No He Can’t!! “ Both kids would turn around reprovingly and shout in unison “Yes He Can!!!!!!!” Acerules and I still play that game sometimes. Sadly, no K1.

Bob the Builder theme song. The comments underneath are funny!

There were other children there, in that complex of homes, which had a long driveway for cycling on, and a playground. There were two Pakistani brothers, and Malaysian boys, whose family were Sikh. The mothers would come out and chat while watching the kids in the playground. A little United Nations.

Years later, Acerules was at a small country school where the girls were in a clique, that wouldn’t let her in one year. Two nice boys played with her, R and H. She was in a wheelchair for long walks , for several months that year, for growing pains. R used to like to push her in the wheelchair, it was very sweet. H invited her to his birthday party. 

For a year or two then, a boy from our neighbourhood , K2 , used to walk Acerules home from primary school. I chaperoned. They were at different schools. Both found a mutual interest in reading, sci fi and fantasy lit, myths and legends. I don’t know what else they talked about, but I remember they did not stop talking! The walk home along the rail trail (train tracks are gone) could take twice as long as if I did it alone, constantly I had to stop ahead, and tell them to keep walking! They were very cute. Sometimes the boy would throw his bag in a ditch, and himself in after it, with the sheer joy of living. Other times we would stop at the free outdoor gym, they enjoyed that, but didn’t stop talking!

Acerules is still friendly with R and K2. They have grown into two very nice, good looking teen boys. However, every now and again , she asks me about K1, saying she thinks about him sometimes. Internet the finder, can it fix that? Maybe it can!!! If you recognise that boy, tell him Acerules would like to see him again. 


Happy Valentines Day to all my friends, old and new.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

MASQUERADE PARTY 16 - pink chandeliers and red lipstick

This is part 16 of the series I'm writing in the lead up to our daughter's sweet 16 Venetian Masquerade baroque ball coming up this month. Please read the other 15 parts. 

Andrea Bocelli - Con Te Partiro (English lyrics translation)

Today, I called into the hairdresser for a price on Acerules party hairdo, so I can pay it in advance, as a friend will be picking Ace up from there and driving her to the venue. While there, I told her Ace is choosing items for her gift registry, and did she think 16 is old enough to own red lipstick and nail varnish? She thought it was ok, if it matched red clothes. 

Ace then chose the last basket of options at the Chemist’s, for the registry. It was fun for her, I hope some people give her something from the list. Again I tried to encourage her to put in practical things as well as frivolous, like a hot water bottle and cover! On the (very pretty) shower caps, she said “no way, I don’t want my friends giving me a shower cap!!!” She did the horrified version of the teenage eye roll. At the very end, she went running past me with a small boxed perfume. I caught up (I’m slow) and wanted to know what she was hiding from me, was it musk? (I think she’s too young for musk). The assistant said, musk isn’t too sexy! It’s just old fashioned!! Lol. However, the perfume turned out to be called Deception Guilty. She didn’t even try a tester, but since I was v tired, and the bottle was small, I gave in. I hope it doesn’t smell cheap. Apparently it’s wanted for post -sport stinkies at school. 

Excerpt from Honour by August- Found

“I'm raising my head, I'm taking a new look around
What now seems lost and fading
Surely can be found

Stay another minute there
Wait it out
I am finding out just how good it feels
To be so real in this carnival
Of hopes and dreams coming true (coming true)
All you do in this life
Echos in eternity”

Here, I’m doing the next step in the faux Venetian chandeliers. If you’ve been reading, you’d know that we brought the two vintage Marie Thérèse crystal chandeliers home on trains and the bus, from the city, having bought them cheaply on eBay. That day we also bought a mirror, and a big framed tapestry, also cheap, all for the party, however, the gold framed oval mirror will also be suitable for Acerule’s adult home. It was a real feat bringing them on public transport, not in peak hour, I wouldn’t try that. 

So far, I’ve taken the faceted crystals off the chandeliers, as I want a Murano Italian look. Acerules and a friend also threaded assorted pink glass beads for them. Today, I gave them a good scrub, a rinse, and a colour change. 

After washing, below, trying not to get the electricals wet. I scrubbed with a soft cloth, dishwashing detergent dissolved in warm water, and rinsed. We are not having them connected at the party, we will be using battery candles in them , like we did for the one we used at Christmas Dinner.

I’m mixing a small amount of the paint, with a Medium designed to dilute the paint. It’s white, so hard to see in the bowl, unless you look carefully. Like some glues, the white disappears when it dries, to become shiny. While I did this painting, Acerules studied on her laptop nearby for her biology exam. 

Toto Cutugno - L'italiano Techno Remix.

I was disappointed in how pink it was when wet, was hopeful for a tinge of purple. The pink is fine for the party, though. 

Hubby hung them up to dry. I was going for an imperfect, handmade look. 

The other one, they will become more glossy when the white glaze dries.

Certainly imperfect, but better than red lipstick on a pig. Not finished yet!

Long standing readers will be familiar with my friend Nancy, well her Avon site is having a big sale up to 65% off!

Candle on sale, was $19.99 US, now $6.99 US

Cushion Walk sandal, was $24.99 US, now $12.99 US, buyer rated 5/5 stars 

Convertible Maxi dress, wear 8 ways, size 2xl, and 3xl, was $39.99 US, now $19.99 US

And lots more, have a look. 

 I have purchased some items from Nancy for Acerules, including makeup for her party, I was very happy with them, they arrived quickly, and she was very helpful. I’m not being paid for this mention. This link takes a couple of minutes to load:

Sunday, 11 February 2018

MASQUERADE PARTY 15- Invitations, registry, costumes , drinks, and chandeliers

This is part 15 of the series I'm writing in the lead up to our daughter's sweet 16 Venetian Masquerade baroque ball coming up this month. Please read the other 14 parts. 

We are into the home straight now.

These guys are great! Son of a Bach -Badinerie

Preparations continue fairly constantly now for the party, as it’s not far off. The big push this week was to get the invitations out, which have a central medallion shown here: 

They were done months ago, but had to be redesigned due to the change in venue. 

Most copies have black ink, on metallic silver/pearl  paper, with matching envelopes in hot pink, as I needed to save money on colour copying. The cost came out roughly the same with the special paper though, so that’s something to keep in mind. I think a paper invitation is important at teen parties, as the more online invitations, the greater the security risk, I think. Horror stories abound in this country, of hundreds of gatecrashers turning up. I also register all my big parties with the police, so they are forewarned.

Sheets of cheap, easily obtainable costume ideas were included , seperate for boys and girls. 

We had to commission photocopying of the gift registry information, to include on a seperate sheet. It’s not good etiquette to put that on the invitation itself. If you’re using a big department store for a gift registry, they will give you cards to include, but we are using a small-town pharmacy. It’s ok to use a gift registry for a milestone, big occasion, as long as the list has items starting from a low price point, and lots of options. The family is usually pretty tapped out of funds after the event, and the recipient appreciates getting things they can actually use, and are not allergic to. A few years ago, we used a registry at a local electronics store for hubby’s 50 th. He received lots of media type items that he had not been able to afford all the years since we had kids. That party was expensive, with a cinema movie and dinner dance, with stage entertainment, so it kind of evens out. If we did not have it, we could buy the gifts ourselves, but would not have had the social occasion with friends.

 In the olden days, the mother would administer a gift registry informally, and it wasn’t called that. It was lots of time spent answering the phone to people who were asking what would the recipient like? Gift registries free Mum up to do the myriad of other tasks needed on a big occasion. 

Acerules was instructed by the assistant , to place her wished for items in a basket, and I encouraged her to add lots of low cost items, starting from $1.99 , that are things she needs to use on a regular basis, like soap , teen skincare and shampoo,  as well as more luxury items like bath products, and makeup;  and wearables, like socks and scarves. 

Guests can ring up and state their upper price limit, and be told what’s remaining under that amount. That always reminds me of Hugh Grant at Four Weddings and a Funeral, and the snobby store, where the gifts on the registry started at a very high price. That’s bad. It’s the thought that counts , not the dollar amount. I couldn’t find a clip of that, but this is funny

Love actually (5/10) movie clip- would you like

We have been, in addition to the usual bill payments, making progress payments to the party suppliers, and picking up bottles of lemonade half price on sale yay! 

Lollies (candy, sweets, ) were also on sale nearly half price, in the raspberry colours and fruit shapes that coordinate, so I snapped them up, they are a brand with no artificial colours , flavours or preservatives, like that brand of lemonade (Schweppes). The lollies are by the Natural Confectionary company. Our kids grew up with them. 

Also on sale, we purchased a big cask of water with a tap, so that guests can help themselves when they’re hot from dancing.


I still have to buy the punch ingredients yet. They will be delivered to the hall on the day, with food ingredients and fruit for the tables, the store agreed. 

Hubby and I chose , in consultation with the bakery staff, and paid for the birthday cake, we are keeping it a secret from Acerules, so I won’t describe it here. It will look very unusual, and fit right in with the “over the top” decor! That will also be delivered.

Much consultation has gone on, and progress payments, with the café making the fried Venetian seafood dish, and the tiramisu. She said it will be a lot of work for her and is charging accordingly, hope the guests like it! She also will deliver on the night, at dinner time. I will be cooking other things in the kitchen there, so no time to make those. If I wasn’t decorating also, maybe, but one person can’t do everything. Hubby is now going to take the day off work, to do the heavier jobs, like carrying furniture etc. One of his qualifications is in cooking, so hopefully he can help me out there. I’m hoping that our tomatoes will have fruited by the time of the party, as we have many plants and it would save some money.

We made a progress payment to Katja, who is still making adjustments to Acerule’s outfit, and making a few costumes for Acerules friends who turn up without one. Here’s a lesson in “reduce, reuse, recycle” again. This costume was made by her from a doona (duvet) cover and matching pillowslip that I provided to Katja from the thrift shop, and some lace from my Ebay friend in Queensland. Designed by Katja.

This other outfit, modelled by Acerules , for the purpose of the photo with an old black skirt of mine, was made by Katja too. I gave her a thrift shop short satin dress, cut up the front middle of the skirt, and a frilled pillowslip, to cut up and sew flounces and sleeves. The girls are required to wear a long skirt.

Materials were fairly cheap, for example the pink pillowslip was $1 au. I’m mainly paying for her labor. Jewellery shown was provided by Katja, who gave us a bag of “jewellery bits” from her store yesterday for free. The broken bits will be attached to masks when we decorate those. Katja has this year also sewn a traditional Italian style clown outfit, and lace ruffles for other boys. She’s still working on a vest decorated with lace cut outs from an old lace dress of mine, for hubby.

I had earlier this year, also bought a big bag of vintage traditional jewellery from her, to give out to the girls to complete their costumes. They can choose when they arrive. The bus we have hired from the town where Ace goes to school, will arrive, then the teens can get dressed and titivate for the first half hour. “Playing dressups” is part of the entertainment! I wonder how long the plastic swords will last with the boys? Hope they are a bit gentle! We have plastic blunderbusses too! I’ve been collecting plastic weapons of the style of the 1600sand 1700s, at discount stores for 3 years. We even have some disco swords that glow in the dark! I bought hubby a delux plastic sword. I wanted to get him a real one, but you need a permit in Australia. There are a few felt hats for boys I need to decorate yet.

Today I detached all the faceted crystals from the vintage chandeliers, which took awhile. They are not needed for a Venetian Murano chandelier look, and can be put back on later if desired. Acerules is most likely going to keep one or both for her adult home. She will have the option to use them with or without the crystals. They are very fiddly to manipulate, though, I had to use needle nosed pliers. Chandeliers are definitely not for those that want low maintenance! 

Hubby has today cut off lots of acrylic flowers from a no longer functioning string of outdoor solar lights, that’s been on the side boundary fence for a couple of years. These will be attached to the chandeliers, wait and see they will all look better when done!


Thursday, 8 February 2018

A SHOWER OF ROSES -no life is perfect.

Feeling sad today, indeed tears are trickling down my face. 

Photo manipulation done on photolab.

I could put up a front on here that everything is fine, but it isn’t. Those Christmas letters, blogs and social media posts where everything is always perfect, just make the rest of us feel inadequate, don’t they? There’s always a “behind the scenes” though. It may appear so, but no one’s life is perfect.

 How will I deal with the sadness? With prayer, as much as is needful, 

finding something to soothe the emotional pain -nothing illegal.  Addictive? I don’t know, maybe, anything can be addictive if it shuts down hurt, each to their own, and what they can afford:  food, beverages, cleaning, other work, socialising, counting money, herbal preparations, working out, TV, video games, shopping, Internet. 
I had a teenage patient once who was addicted to drinking water, I kid you not, he actually was drinking too much and was hospitalised. None of those things are bad in moderation, but they shouldn’t take over.

Normally, because I don’t work for a boss, I let things take their natural course at home, depending on what the problem is: crying, coughing, vomiting/diahorrea, laughing loudly. It’s good for the body to do what comes naturally in moderation, is better for the immune system.  However, I have this big party coming up soon, I have my homemaker duties, my functions as wife, Mother, caregiver, friend, to attend to, and my writing, a job that is currently making a loss in dollars, but I hope will be an earner.

Some of those roles are always difficult, for reasons outside my control. However, lately, the friend role has been making me sad, worried, tearful even. It seems that in several situations there I’m nothing but an onlooker now. It makes me so sad when I can’t help several people anymore, and have to watch helplessly from the sidelines, knowing that my skills and qualified expertise are rejected. When they are friends I’ve loved, several loved gently, another quite fiercely, it is quite painful for me. 

Helping and healing are in my DNA. My mother was a nurse, and I too was a health professional, no less so when I had to leave the workforce to be an unpaid caregiver and therapist for disabled family members. I even had to give up my home based business because of one child’s ADHD (now grown, moved on, and I will say it, unappreciative.)

How do I feel about that? Pretty numb, actually. Angry, that the governments here over the years allowed such a waste of caregivers’ talents taken out of the workforce , because they wasted so much money instead of finding cures. Then numb because the anger has nowhere to go, except for signing petitions. If you’ve ever been a caregiver, you know what I mean. 

Stoicism creeps in, you just have to get on with it, clean up that mess, talk yourself through the numbness, one step at a time in the fog, and try to remember what your mother said - have a nice cup of tea, have you had your breakfast? Wash your face with cold water. Take that short term panacea. Smell the roses. Pray.

Will I stop loving people, and thus avoid getting hurt? No, and no one should. Give up on my humdrum responsibilities? St Thérèse of Lisieux taught us that putting love into all our tasks, no matter how menial or boring, is honourable. 

I knew a lady, online, called Ali, who was going through suffering while slowly dying. She touched the hearts of many people through the love and care she showed others at that time, with a great sense of humour. It was a living example to me, that you could be more loving online if you had courage, that it might help someone. St Thérèse said she would send “a shower of roses” when she died. 

It’s hot and windy outside today, bushfire weather, I call it.

Ali said she would send glitter down to her friends. Both did send a blessing, to all of us, the example to “power on through” with grace, and love for others.

 Interestingly, both had severe breathing disorders.

 “Do it to the best of your ability” is the secular catchcry, and the admirable Protestant work ethic. St Thérèse wasn’t paid, she was a nun. In the future, that is going to be the norm for most people, thanks to robots and artificial intelligence making most human paid jobs redundant. I call this a disaster, others say inevitable. (The Celtic warrior in me says to fight it. ) Perhaps works of unpaid community service will become mainstream, to fill in time. 

I hope that me writing this post helps someone today.

Please sign the petition

Sunday, 4 February 2018

MASQUERADE PARTY 14 -all that glitters

This is part 14 of the series I'm writing in the lead up to our daughter's sweet 16 Venetian Masquerade baroque ball coming up this month. Please read the other 13 parts. 

Shirley Bassey sings the James Bond film theme song: Goldfinger.

We should have taken shares in gold paint. This week we went through two cans of gold spray paint and two tubes of gold paint. We are not finished either. I had to laugh. Some items from the house, started off gold, and I painted them cream over the years, because hubby doesn’t like gold. (Well, it’s not his party this time!!) Now they are back to gold again, for this Venetian party. Some will be sold at the garage sale next day, what doesn’t sell of our possessions collected over the years, will get painted again!!

I can’t remember for sure, but I think I bought this small ceramic for one of Acerules angel theme birthday parties. She had one such party in our last city, and one here. These days it hangs in the bathroom, over the bath, well it did when it was cream:

The other day Acerules spray painted 4 iron wall candelabras (from the hall, and the bathroom, two were previously teal and two were cream). Also a cream iron candlestick from the bathroom. All are now gold. She also did a first coat of gold paint on an ex tv cabinet made of orange pine. I need lots of occasional furniture around the room for the cake, presents, flowers, candles, props etc. A couple of the heavier large framed pictures will also have to rest their bottom edge on wall tables, as we are using temporary hooks.

Here are some things we hand painted today:

A vintage set of little prints, previously hung in my bedroom:

This framed print of an angel , below, is one of the few things in this set of photos, that I bought brand new, for our bedroom, when we were nearly married. It has gone from gold to cream, to gold again. I’ve promised it for Acerules’ adult house.

Hubby put together two spindles from the shed, and two bowls from the house, below, to make a pair of candlesticks , with supervision!!

Acerules unified them with paint, below. I have no idea what the industrial object is behind with the orange rope, but it’s so heavy, it’s handy to hold up the big heavy “market” umbrella.

I took a pair of green and white vases, which only cost $5 au each, on one of our Ebay trips to the city during the year, and tried to reduce both the green and the white. I’ve been using this florist for our parties for years, and I know she likes this wide- mouthed shape. They are a good size too. The carved candlesticks and panel were previously plain wood, we have accrued them second hand over the years. The big framed picture underneath covered in newsprint, is a handworked wool tapestry of a 1700s scene of boats in a bay. Hanging in our dining room, it’s frame was blue before. If it doesn’t sell, it’s going back to blue!

Me painting a first coat of gold on a leather belt for a nobleman or woman’s costume:

This wool tapestry below of a lady , previously hung outside our laundry:

The picture below, of the Virgin Mary talking to St Dominic and another saint, had a frame previously painted cream by me, and it hung in our bedroom. I will keep and repaint after the party, as I was partially educated by Dominican nuns and brothers. I found it years ago second hand:

Nearly everything here, except for one picture, I think, was purchased over the years second hand. For the benefit of the planet, it’s good to “reduce, reuse, recycle.”

This morning, hubby carved out the hollows in the pillar (church ) candles, to accommodate battery tea lights for safety with the teen guests. We need more than that!

When I went to make food, allegedly younger cat started researching a post for the blog!

Typical management, sitting down while we worked, L-R younger cat, younger dog in a favoured spot on top of the irises, and older dog:

Tomorrow I will break out the silver spray paint for a very different craft. Keep checking in!