a time to laugh…

I shall repeat what I always say… ”We’re all different”… and one of the aspects of that is this : what I think is funny may not even make you smile!
My children regularly come to me crying with laughter about something, and I just can’t feel it ๐Ÿ˜› I’ll smile, shake my head, and say, ”nope”.

We all need regular smiling and chuckling time. It really is good for the soul.
I love the laughter that bubbles from deep inside me, and actually ends up giving me a stomach ache.
And you’d be the one shaking your head when you saw me, because you probably wouldn’t find it that funny.
(But you’d end up laughing till you cry… AT ME ๐Ÿ˜› /with me ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

This morning, I really needed to smile.

So off I went to my ‘Facebook funnies’ folder on my phone. I decided to share just a few (gosh, who knew I had so many!) with you…

HOPEFULLY there is at least one in here that will make you smile… or even chuckle, as an added bonus ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope you all have something this weekend that brings you happiness, and a reason to smile and laugh! โค

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Quizzy Facebook

Years back, Facebook introduced a question in the place where you type your ‘status’, quite possibly to help inspire people as to what to post. Everyone jumped on that bandwagon for quite a while. I seldom see those answers anymore.

The question? ”What’s on your mind?

The multitude of answers were along the lines of ‘you don’t want to know’, and ‘wouldn’t you love to know’. And I laughed at each one, in relation to the person who had responded. It was just so applicable!

Facebook also has ‘Quizzes’. This is not a techy post… I do not know what basis is used for their results.
And many of the results are really just ‘generic’.
Occasionally, there are some that are just so true about me – well, things that I can ‘see’ as being ‘me’.
Sometimes a Facebook friend will post their result, and I find myself curious enough to go off and play as well, just to see what Facebook comes up with for me!

And so this is a fun blog post. Just because.

(Mostly because I had a memory pop up on Facebook from 3 years ago, and it made me smile. So here goes some sharing ๐Ÿ˜› )

Apparently my classic rock song is : Don’t stop believin’ ~ Journey
And the added Facebook caption is : ”Giving up isn’t in your vocabulary. You will stop at nothing to achieve your goals.” Wellllll…. actually…. I’ve been known to say, ”I give up” ๐Ÿ˜› and there are definitely circumstances that would cause me to stop and not achieve my goals – like if it meant hurting someone else etc. I highly doubt that the Facebook caption is intended to be so ‘overthought’ though, ha ha!

Then there was this one…

The job that suits me is apparently that of a teacher, according to another Facebook quiz. Not too surprising, I suppose, because an aptitude test once told me that I am best suited in a role of teaching and counselling.

And apparently the summary of my life is as follows :

Nope. I am not ‘all that’. Clearly most of the images that I post to Facebook are in the general theme of the analyses above ๐Ÿ˜› I am very far from perfect. And just to confirm :

Apparently I am not at all good with pick up lines. My particular pick up line, that I would apparently use, is :
”Let’s flip a coin. Heads, you’re mine! Tails, I’m yours!”
(Shaking my head and laughing here!)

And according to a Facebook quiz, if you hurt me, I turn into a wild lion that is hard to tame! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

I’ll close with another job related one. This one honestly shocked me, and had me laugh so loudly that both my dogs went to bark at my front door, thinking someone was outside!
The job that suits my face? A PRIEST!

Oh my goodness! Thank you, Facebook, for the laughs. At least I can find some fun in you sometimes ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a great weekend, everyone! โค

Paying attention to good stuff

3am. A little dog panting and jumping on me. ”I need to go, Mom!”
I stumbled around in the semi darkness, finding my glasses on the floor (how did they get there?), reached for the keys to open up, and dropped them… twice.
All the while, little Miss was running in circles… ”Hurry up, Mom, hurry up!”
Thankfully, she was quick. And my brain was just foggy enough still to not want coffee! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I slept another hour and a bit, and woke to my 5am alarm.
Yes, I groaned. ๐Ÿ˜›
Sipping on my second cup of coffee, my mind started waking up properly, and as it always does, it produced a blog post.
(This is the part where I admit to the following : I write blog posts in my head a lot! They’re usually pretty good, ha ha! Then I find that peaceful gap where I can sit and type one out, and they’re all gone! Disappeared! Bermuda Triangle stuff! Mysterious, indeed!)

6am found me sitting at the computer, determined to type the ‘brilliant’ post in my head, but first I needed to catch up on a few blogs.

The following is not what I was going to blog about!

If we can start our day with a giggle or a smile, a little bit of happiness, it changes things. Well, it does for me anyway. It’s a small thing, a small difference, but it somehow makes something in me a little bit stronger – as if it equips me for whatever might come my way.
Yes, admittedly, when really bad stuff happens, I may falter. But for the most part is helps.

Wic from Letters to Pogue always seems to speak to me in one way or another – soul food and thoughts to ponder! Inspiration and encouragement more often than not! A worthy blog to visit if you have not already done so ๐Ÿ˜‰

This morning I was catching up, and it was his Monday Musing for today that made me giggle. (Not to detract from serious thoughts in there – there was definitely food for thought – I’ll be contemplating after this ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Please do go and read it : I think what I am saying is that the things that often make life rich and bring a smile to our faces are the โ€˜littleโ€™ things.

In the meantime, here’s the ‘little memory’ that made me giggle :

For some odd reason, when I was younger, the Tooth Fairy never visited my house. My teeth were whisked off to a magical place, with a shiny coin to replace them, by the Tooth Mouse.
There were discussions about this amongst my little peers, with the boys being of the opinion that it was simply because I wasn’t dainty enough for the fairy – conversations that took place in whatever tree we were climbing at the time ๐Ÿ˜› (My mother eventually stopped sending me to pre-school in pretty dresses ๐Ÿ˜› The strange thing was that I liked being girly, and dresses made me feel like a princess, but I simply couldn’t resist climbing the tree! Ha ha!)

When I had a loose tooth, the money I could get did not attract me in the least – I tried hard to hide that loose tooth! Because if my cousins found out (the three girls), they were delighted! My aunt would double check that it was loose enough, and then one of them would sit on my chest, one would hold my arms, and the third my legs. And they’d wiggle it right out of my mouth for me! (looking back, this was definitely a better alternative to tying string to my tooth and a doorknob and slamming the door, ha ha ha!) They’d send me home, tooth in hand, delighted at the thought that soon I’d have a shiny coin!

One day while I was munching on some Crackerbread, alone in our large kitchen (oh! How I miss having a big kitchen!), I caught a glimpse of the Tooth Mouse!
Unable to contain my excitement, I ran out to the garage to tell my dad! He smiled, but I remember some concern too.
We made our way to the kitchen, to find my mother there, putting the kettle on for some tea. I was delighted to share my news with her, and somewhat confused when she shrieked and ran off to her bedroom! (Dad refused to set mouse traps – it would be too traumatising for me.)

But I suspect the Tooth Mouse had seen and heard it all, because none of us ever saw him again!
I did still get a shiny new coin when my next tooth got retrieved though ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope your week is FULL of little reminders of happy memories from the past! Have a great one, everyone! โค


Something different

Some anecdotes from the last few days that will hopefully bring a smile to your face at the beginning of this new year – just a silly personal touch to my blog, I suppose ๐Ÿ˜‰ :

(Background real quick first : There is a family, who are my friends, but are like family to me. They moved in next door when I was 17, and our friendship has spanned the years – even when we no longer lived next door to each other. They’ve seen me at my absolute worst, but they still love me (and vice versa). We don’t see each other regularly or talk often – but when we do, you’d think we hadn’t missed a day! The friendship started with G as my ‘older, wiser’ friend – and she still is, and more – mid sixties now, but some days I swear she’s more youthful than me! Ha ha!
K was 5 when they moved in – she was the cute, but annoying, kid next door, ha ha! She’s still cute, but not annoying, and is now in her late twenties with a little family of her own. Her and her husband visit me as a couple occasionally – how he puts up with us women is beyond me! ha ha! – and they have the most adorable little 4 year old in this world! I am still baffled at his ability to have a rather grown up conversation!)

Story number one : The not so fun part of this anecdote is that my daughter had Covid for Christmas. And she had it bad. Fevers, bronchitis, a throat infection so bad that they had to inject her to bring down the swelling. (Christmas Day was worthy of celebration in many ways – the most important being that she was a lot better health wise!)
On the 21st of December, K and her little family came to drop off some groceries for us (good old isolation), and the back window of the car opened to reveal her little boy sitting in his booster seat. His request? ”Please can I see her?” We all started explaining at the same time that my daughter was sick and contact was a no, and were all in fits of laughter when he said, ”Excuse me for interrupting, everyone. I don’t want to hug her, but I just need to see her. I have something important to tell her.”
I went to call her, because how could I not? She came through in her pyjama’s and face mask, and his little face lit up when her eyes crinkled their smile at him. He actually brought tears to my eyes when he said, ”Oh! I am so glad to see you, because you look okay. I know you are sick now, but when you are better we will arrange for you to come to our house and then you and me can go for a nice, cool swim, okay? My daddy can make a braai for us! Okay?”
K’s husband laughed and commented, ”Well, I guess that’s decided then!”
It brought a lot of heartfelt cheer to our household that day! โค

Story number two : (If you have a lizard phobia, I do not recommend that you click on the link.) In my area, these lizard like creatures are rather common…. they’re called Gecko’s. (I know… you get them all over the world…. but the ones that frequent my house look a lot like this! They’re a little bit creepy, but I have lived with them for years and so we’re sort of friends ๐Ÿ˜› The only thing that bothers me about them is having to clean up after them, every jolly day!)
I’ve blogged about them before, because some encounters are truly amusing!
At the moment there are about six that live on my outside verandah, two in my bedroom, and one in the bathroom. (there used to be two in the bathroom years ago, until the one ended up in my bath with me… but that’s a whole other story, ha ha ha!) My windows are always slightly open, so more may come and go during the night, who knows!
My little dog often has to be dissuaded from hunting these poor creatures! Unfortunately, once or twice, she has caught them and I find a ‘still thrashing about tail’ in my bed! UGH! Thankfully, the gecko usually makes a remarkable escape!
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and the gecko’s were cross! Ha ha ha!
I lay in bed, watching my two on the ceiling, clicking angrily at each other as they both approached the same poor moth. The moth flew away just in time, but the fight was on. I said out loud, (as I so often do because I am a communicator ๐Ÿ˜› ) ”Come on guys, no fighting, please. You need to both stay on the ceiling. There’s no space on this bed for you, me and the dogs!”
Apparently they’re hard of hearing!
There was a mad scramble a few minutes later as one landed on my leg, which my little dog was napping against! I successfully grabbed her before she could do any damage, but watched in horror as it ran towards me instead of away! I lacked grace as I tumbled from my bed, holding on to my little dog protectively (for her protection and that of the dude that was on me), only to hear Mr. Gecko land with a thud on the floor. I flipped on the light switch and watched him cross the carpet and climb back up the wall before letting little Miss go! She pursued him with a few frantic barks, and then settled back on to the bed and curled up and went to sleep as if nothing had happened. I double checked that he still had his tail and then told them both to behave as I switched off the light and went back to bed.

Story number three : I am a water baby. Not so much the swimming kind… although my insides swim in it, a lot! I love my coffee… but can only drink so much (a sad state of affairs, I know!) Apparently this does not apply to my water consumption. I always have a bottle of water with me, and on the rare occasion that I go out to eat, I will order a bottle of still water to drink along with whatever else I may choose (but most times, it’s the water alone). This has been passed down to my children. Like their mom, their thirst is only satisfied by water.
My adult son spent the night at a friend’s farm on the 31st. He came home late morning on the 1st January, rather tired. They had had about four hours sleep, before crawling from their beds and going out for breakfast. He was catching me up on everyone’s news (I’ve known these ‘kids’ for about ten years now and have had them in my home often), while filling his water bottle from the fridge, and I watched silently with a huge smile on my face. I waited in anticipation as he took a breath and lifted his water bottle to his lips. Then I laughed out loud as that mouthful landed on my kitchen counter and floor! I choked out, in between fits of laughter, ”You are tired”, and he shook his head in disbelief before joining me in laughter!
He had filled his water bottle from the milk carton! (I only drink milk in coffee, or the odd milkshake. If I have had a ‘glass of milk’ more than three times in my life, it’s a lot! This is apparently something else that I have passed down to my children. Strange how that works!)
What a rude awakening for his sleepy taste buds!
(One of those ‘you had to be there’ situations, but if you’ve ever experienced similar, it may still make you smile ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Why share such trivial things with you, you may be wondering?
Well…. once again… it’s the little things that count, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰
Here’s hoping your days are filled with ‘trivial’ bits of your own to make you smile, and warm your heart!

Lost Monday

I saw the above image on Facebook this morning. I have seen these words before… and they always make me smile.

I smiled this morning too, but only after a grimace had first found my face ๐Ÿ˜›

Because this seems to be my Monday Mood today, ha ha! And I suppose that whether or not that is a good thing depends on attitude and personality type, in a lot of ways!

For me? It means that this Monday morning has me feeling a bit lost…. not even coffee has given me direction! ๐Ÿ˜›
My brain seems to be in a questioning phase, ”What are you doing? How are you going to do that? Why? How? What?” etc etc etc. And there is not a particular thought that relates to those questions either. It’s sort of an ‘all over the place’ thing – one question about the future, then a question about my daughter and school, then another that jumps to something dog related.

It’s a truly Messy Monday Mind for Meg ๐Ÿ˜›

And I just laughed out loud ๐Ÿ˜› (I feel the need to point out here that I DO always laugh at myself ๐Ÿ˜› )

But here’s something I know… this is ‘but a moment’. I have felt this way before, and no doubt I will feel this way again. It may last all day, or even all week… but the moment will pass.
And while the moment is probably important, and the questions are worthy of pondering even if the answers have themselves been lost in space, my attitude will make a difference – lost, or not.

So even in this moment, I will choose to pay attention to other things on this Monday too – because I know from personal experience that even when I feel lost, something magnificent can still happen.
(The last time I got lost, a butterfly found my shoulder… and since I happen to have such a great love for butterflies, it was a truly magnificent happening for me that day!)

So I am heading out to take on Monday… choosing to celebrate that thorns have roses ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you find me, PLEASE ask me to wait ๐Ÿ˜‰

Fabulous Fun

Things have just been way too serious since this pandemic started! The stress of it all is affecting everyone, even those who will tell you that it’s not.
It IS possible to be ‘okay’ – have an inner peace and joy – but still feel the stress. No one is entirely immune.

But as with everything else in life, our attitudes play a big role in how okay we stay despite the circumstances.

I don’t know if you have ever experienced it, but I’ll share this anyway….
I had four days in a row (my son has just reminded me that they weren’t quite in a row, but spanned 7 days instead… it probably just felt like in a row ๐Ÿ˜› ) where something went wrong on each day : my car needs repairs again, my microwave decided it was retiring, my vacuum cleaner finally gave up, and my daughter’s school bag decided to be like my bank account – broke ๐Ÿ˜›
Each day, I did a great job of dealing with these things. I took them in my stride, didn’t get too upset, had a great attitude towards them.

Last night they hit me all at once. It was like this sudden hard downpour that came out of nowhere, and I just felt so darn sorry for myself! Ha ha! It was short lived, and probably mostly from frustration and exhaustion because yesterday was a busy day, but it happened.

And I went with it. I had my ‘good cry’, and then blew my nose and washed my face. I grabbed myself a ‘comfort snack’ from the kitchen and climbed into bed. I forced myself to dwell on all I have to be grateful for – to not allow my brain to ‘go there’/ think about the minor ‘disasters’.

When my teenage daughter came through to put her phone on charge because it was time for her to go to bed, and sighed out loud, ”I’m so glad it’s Friday tomorrow”, I smiled.
In my head, I told myself this : ”You are going to make it not only a fabulous Friday, but a fun one too. No matter what, you have to laugh, silly girl!”

I’ve been up and about for three hours, and so far so good ๐Ÿ˜› (And I’ve even left the house! ๐Ÿ˜› )

So I thought I’d share two bits of Friday fun with you ๐Ÿ˜‰

This was my Facebook post – not intended to offend anyone, but I think it’s pretty darn funny… (no idea who to credit for the image, as it was in my memories as a re-share from five years ago)

And then I saw another image on Facebook (again, no idea who to credit) that I will be sharing with my kids (and you) because….
Sometimes my children will ask me to do something for them – something they are quite capable of doing for themselves – and I’ll be busy with something else and usually tell them, ”I’m not your maid or your servant. I’m busy.” It’s never said in a malicious way though – my tone is always a little bit like ‘feigning shock’. The response is usually said in a teasing tone, ”Awww, but you’re my mom. It’s your job. The best job in the world, right?”
Most times, they end up doing it themselves because they know their request was ridiculous (Mommy, please bring me glass of water; Mommy, please pass me my phone, I’m too lazy to get up; Moooooom…. please come here….. now that you’re here can you please pass me xyz).
Sometimes I humour them, because it really isn’t inconvenient, and they do little things for me as well, that I am perfectly capable of doing for myself too! ๐Ÿ˜‰
So I saw this image this morning, and it is SO applicable to one of the things that go with ‘my job’:

I’m off to see what other fabulous and fun things I can find to do on this Friday! And who else I can share it with! Because being kind to others and brightening their day has a very positive effect on us too!

Let’s get out there and be the light ๐Ÿ˜‰ Happy Friday, and weekend, everyone! โค

Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day. The UK celebrates it on a different day, and I often miss that one – and so, today, I will wish my stepmother, even though it’s ‘not applicable’ in their country for today. She became ‘Mum’ the year I turned eighteen. And unlike some horror stories with stepparents, she truly has been an absolute treasure in my life. I am very grateful for Mum, and her unconditional love. It hasn’t always been easy, but it definitely has been worth it.

I often feel that I fall short as a ‘Mum’. And to be entirely honest, I probably do in some ways. But isn’t that just life? We never get it 100% perfect.
When it comes to being human, and being me, I am always striving to be a ‘better me than I was yesterday’. To do things differently, to be more aware of how I react, to be kinder, to be gentler etc. And all these things apply to my parenting skills too. I just keep trying. Trial and error. What works, and what doesn’t – especially with a teenage girl in the house ๐Ÿ˜›

My children and I are not a ‘normal family’. Our relationship is a different dynamic in many ways – for example, we pretty much almost never eat a meal together. This is usually due to different timetables that can’t be changed, but it is what it is.

At the end of the day, even though my children are not really children anymore, my commitment to them remains the same in a lot of ways. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they will always be open and honest with me (even when my teen daughter knows it might get her into trouble, which it sometimes does ๐Ÿ˜› ) and that neither one of them will ever have cause to pause and wonder if I love them. And for me, those are the most important things and worthy of celebration!
We certainly are not a perfect family though, and we fail each other – like would you believe that my kids have never made me a cup of coffee or tea? Shocking, I know ๐Ÿ˜›
We bicker about little things, and in all honesty, there have been times where those little things have escalated quickly and we’ve almost gone to war. But we always get through it. And although there may be slight injuries, we heal… and we continue to forge forward, together.

And I love that about us.

So here’s to Mother’s Day, and single parenthood, and our ‘not normal/traditional’ little family.

I hope you all have an exceptional day celebrating!

To end off, if you’d like a laugh, please visit this old blog post… the video is for those who suffer from overprotective dad syndrome, which is rather applicable to me since I am both parents ๐Ÿ˜‰

Whether the weather

Today’s post is not one of inspiration or motivation – it’s more just a fun rendition of our weather the last few days ๐Ÿ˜‰
They say that South Africa has one of the best climates in the world. While I was ‘made in South Africa’ ๐Ÿ˜› I don’t think I was made FOR it! And many will be shocked by my next statement – the seven months I was in the UK? One of my favourite things was the weather!
Sadly, somehow I avoided snow when I was there.
But I still think my body was built for cooler temperatures! ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜‰

My body definitely is not built for humidity! And I think if I could get past that, I might actually be more inclined to enjoy Summer. I am NOT enjoying Summer so far – and next month is usually our ‘worst’ month. :/

There is a saying around here – ‘hot enough to fry an egg on the bonnet of a car’. I’m starting to think I should try that ๐Ÿ˜› I think that yesterday might have been one of those days!

Only about 70% of our shops/businesses have air conditioning. Houses? Maybe 10%, if that. Most bed and breakfasts/guesthouses/hotels have got though. I should have booked myself into one yesterday ๐Ÿ˜›

Yesterday was one of those ‘can’t breathe, can’t think’ heat days.
By lunchtime, it was 36 degrees celsius (96.8F) – not too bad, right? Except the humidity was at 91%. And on the odd occasion that the wind decided to stir, it was a warm one.

(Apparently this made some people reconsider their religious views ๐Ÿ˜› I had an old school mate post on her Facebook status : ”I need to get my butt back into church – I ain’t gonna make it in hell”! ๐Ÿ˜› )

All jokes aside though, it was AWFUL. Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, the complaints were endless… especially since our beaches are closed at this stage of the pandemic. (At the moment, even walking along the road near the beach will get you a fine – you are not allowed to be walking within 100m – 328 feet – from the beach because then you are considered ON the beach?!?!?) Anyway…..

In the midst of scrolling, my aunt in Wales saw that I was online, and sent me a short message… in which she complained about the cold. And I laughed so much! In return, I told her about our heat…. and she decided she’d rather be where she is with her central heating ๐Ÿ˜›

And she reminded me of a story about my dad! My dad loves hot stuff – curries and foods that make him sweat. (When my son was 4, he wanted to know what Grandpa ate that made his forehead cry!!! ๐Ÿ˜› )
One year, while on a road trip, my dad bought himself a jar of homemade Atchar (A South Asian pickle, known as achar, aachar, athanu, achaar or loncha, is a pickled food, native to the Indian subcontinent, made from a variety of vegetables and fruits, preserved in brine, vinegar, or edible oils along with various Indian spices). The jar label said it was ‘very hot’, with a picture of a chilli.
At that time, I was staying with him (I was about 14), and that evening he added some to the mince pasta I had cooked for us. He had one mouthful and it wasn’t just his forehead that cried! Ha ha ha ha!
Upon another inspection of the label, we both laughed. We had read the product as being : Hot-A-Shell
It was actually Hot-As-Hell! ๐Ÿ˜› (Written on the label : Hotashell)

Did you know that laughter makes you hotter? ๐Ÿ˜›

I cannot even begin to explain how happy and relieved I was at 21:00 last night. The weather suddenly shifted – in fact the wind that came out of nowhere even scared my dogs for a brief moment! And it was a COOL wind! Distant rumblings of thunder promised rainfall! I think my heart even skipped a beat it was so happy! ๐Ÿ˜› I got up, and took the dogs with me outside, just to feel the cool. I even got some raindrops! It was WONDERFUL!

And I guess there IS some inspiration in this ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜‰

I found this picture on Pinterest….

Not even the weather ๐Ÿ˜›

And I remembered this little ‘tongue twister’ I recited years ago, in Junior school,

Whether the weather be fine, orย whether the weather be not, Whether the weatherย be cold, orย whether the weatherย be hot, We’llย weatherย theย weather, whatever theย weather,ย Whetherย we like it orย not.”

May you all continue to whether the weather – may your storms pass, and your joy last ๐Ÿ˜‰

Arts and Crafts

The other day I shared my hobby of painting.

I am sort of an Arts and Crafts kind of girl. Sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

In my early twenties, a girl friend who shares my love for creating stuff, gifted me an afternoon craft class. It was a voucher for both of us to attend, and we got wine and snacks! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I remember it as being loads of fun – but somewhat frustrating too – and it wasn’t the wine ๐Ÿ˜›

It was a class in ‘serviette glass decoupage’.

Now back in those days, I was nowhere near as patient as I am now. And it showed in that class (hence the frustrating part of it).

We arrived twenty minutes early, and were greeted with a variety of wines to choose from. The studio the class was being held at had a beautiful garden, and I remember sitting on the grass with our wine, next to a small rock fountain, just sunning ourselves. No words passed between us, we just were. It was bliss.

We were ushered inside a while later by the hostess – an elderly woman with long gray hair, dressed in a brightly coloured kaftan, sporting a glass of wine twice the size of ours! (A couple of months ago, I watched the series Grace and Frankie.When I saw Frankie, I was instantly reminded of the teacher we had that day ๐Ÿ˜‰ Frankie is the lady on the right, pictured below)

gf

Photo credit : tvline.com
gf2
Photo credit : deadline.com

I’m struggling to remember what our hostesses name was, so for the purposes of my story, I shall refer to her as Frankie ๐Ÿ˜‰

My friend, Tish, and I took our seats, and I was excited to see the box of supplies in front of me. Frankie took her place at the front of the room and rather dramatically announced,
”Ladies, today we are going to test our patience!”
I wasn’t the only one who wore a horrified expression, promise.
She laughed, and added, ”We’re going to create something beautiful that you can be proud of.”
We all relaxed – but we should have known that she was an honest woman (she gave us wine, after all) and wasn’t actually kidding about the first part despite her laughing after she said it.

As we unpacked our items, I got more excited, while she talked us through a brief explanation.
”First we will tear the mulberry paper into small pieces, and you will use the normal paintbrush to ‘glue’ the pieces to your jar with the glaze I have provided. (It’s a water based glaze type varnish, thin and colourless, and after this class I preferred working with it to working with the traditional modge podge that is usually used in decoupage.)
When you have finished, while your jar is drying – it will take about fifteen minutes to dry, you may come and select a serviette from the box. Then you will cut out your picture and gently apply it with the softer paintbrush to your bottle, using fine strokes to pretty much paint it on.”

It didn’t sound too difficult.

There was a lot of chatter as we got busy with our jars (we’re women, after all ๐Ÿ˜› ), and Frankie made her rounds to check on us and top up our wine. Such a good woman ๐Ÿ˜‰

What she had failed to tell us was exactly what our serviette time would entail.

I don’t remember who waited for who, but when Tish and I were both done, we went to the serviette box together. Tish selected a serviette with bright flowers, I went with something softer – pale seashells.

Seeing us returning to our work stations with our serviettes, Frankie came over, with prestik?!?!?! What followed was a true test of patience. And I blame my youth back then for my lack thereof ๐Ÿ˜›

The serviettes had three layers, which made them ‘firm’. We were to only work with one very delicate and easy-to-tear layer. The prestik was to assist in separating the layers. Once we had the final thin layer, we could pick up our scissors, andย very gently begin to cut out our chosen sections.
Now, I need to tell you, for some reason I struggle a little with ‘gentle’. I am not a bull in a china shop by any means, but I am also not a very soft and gentle worker with my hands. I’ve improved… but back then it was an almost disaster.

I went through three serviettes before I had my few shells! The more intricate the cutting pattern (Tish learnt the hard way with her petals) the easier it is to tear the serviette while cutting. By the time we were done, I am pretty sure our sighs of relief could be heard in other countries. We high-fived each other, because, well, the bad part was over.

And then Frankie reappeared, her sample in hand. She showed us how to very carefully apply the serviette with the soft brush. As with most things when people do them who know what they are doing, she made it look easy.

I can assure you, it’s not. A single delicate layer of serviette that becomes wet tears really easily at the slightest amount of ‘too much pressure’. And so we were back to square one, fetching another serviette and holding scissors.

It took FIVE HOURS to make one jar! Some ladies gave up, and Frankie did theirs for them in the end, showing them how as she went along – for future use. I wonder if they ever tried again?

Tish and I were part of the determined group. And weย finally succeeded!

So this was my very first jar, made with serviette decoupage…

Shell Bottle

I have since, after many years of practice, managed to hone my skill so that it’s a lot less frustrating… and I don’t tear as many serviettes anymore either ๐Ÿ˜‰ It helps that I am older now, I think – so my ‘patience skill’ has been honed too ๐Ÿ˜›

In fact, I actually now enjoy working with the serviettes, and even use them for decoupage on wooden items. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I made butterfly coasters for a friend for her birthday, I made a flower fairy tissue box for someone else. And I’ve done a few bottles as gifts, with some form of something in the neck to add to the decor – a fake flower, or greenery etc.

So without further ado, I’ll share more pictures with you ๐Ÿ˜‰

Butterfly CoastersCello BottleExamplesFairies tissue box coverSunflower bottle

Here’s hoping you’re all keeping safe, and keeping well.

And if your patience isn’t already being tested, you might want to try some serviette decoupage to get it started ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜‰