Sunday, 2 December 2012

Creating my way to success

  The lovely Jill over at Creating my way to success has once again featured madwestdesigns on her blog.
Jill hosts many link parties and posts losts of tutrioals on all things craft and not.
It's a great site with many oppitunitites within  so pop on over for a look around

Thursday, 25 October 2012

What Jack Thinks

 Remeber in my last post l told you about the Dud Mothers day present l was given
Why did you by me that

 Well here's the follow up i promised.
 It's hard to tell what Jack is thinking but i think its along the lines of
"Why did l have to eat all that canned muck, this is so much nicer."

I swear he knows when l'm cooking he's food, he sits or lies on the floor near the bench and watches.

Do you feel someone watching You?

I cook sereval differnet things from the book, there are differnet chapters for differnet things,
Dog Parties, The Vegetarian Dog, Training Treats, Super Dog Foods, and a list of can have's and don't ever have.

The one l cooked today was Chicken "n" Veg and l must say it is one of his favorites or at least l think it is as he flies out the door when he knows it's in his bowl.

Looks Pretty Healthy doesn't it ?

 In the book it is made as meatballs which was great for something different BUT Jack is a little dog and didn't eat them in the 2-3 days it recommends so i cook it in a loaf tin ( remember to grease it or it doesn't come out) and......
    slice it when it's cooled                                                         wrap in individual serve's and freeze.

By doing this with what l cook he gets variety as l can pull out different food to defrost.
 So along with the Beef Hotpot ( cooked in the slow cooker) Mince and Liver, Tuna & Veg he also gets Sardines & Tuna 2-3 times a week as it's a great source of omgea 3 but l just like that he's coat is so soft and shiny. Plus his most favorite food of all "Chicken" this is kept from the family Roast, I shred any leftovers and place in individual serves and freeze this also.
This became his favorite when we had to smuggle antibiotics into him when he kept getting poisoned by the cat next door. Cats can be fatal to dogs when they attack as we found out not once but three times.

 You might well ask the question or be thinking It's so much easier to feed them canned stuff, well yes it is but most of it is water and goes sraight through and out the other end.
Jack is now a healthy weight and l think a much happier dog.
It costs no more to feed him in fact it's cheaper because l am using everything we buy in our weekly shop anyway.

Spoiled or not he still sleeps outside until the boys go to work in the morning at which time he comes and curls up on the bed with me.

Oh and one more thing l secretively think the boys knew what they were doing when they brought me the book but l'm not going to tell them.

Here's the link again if you want to buy your own copy Doggylicious-Cookbook for your Dog

Cheers Marie
P.S I would love to hear what your dogs favorite is.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

A crafters Choice Giveaway is open

Entry is now open for this fantastic give-away so pop on over to  Earning My Cape Blog and enter to win not only 1 but two prizes on her blog.
While there don't forget to enter give-aways hosted by about 57 other blogs.

Earning my Cape

What are you waiting for get blog hopping

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Why did you buy me that?

Now come on l'm sure you have all uttered those words on your birthday , Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Christmas any celerbration where someone gives you a gift.

 I have had my fair share and i think Mothers Day presents take the cake, I'm not talking about the ones that are made by your children at Kinder or School or the ones they buy at the Mothers Days stall. The kids don't know that  most of the time it is someone else's unwanted gift.
Mothers Day stalls are the perfect cupboard clean out, just be careful never to clean out what your children have given you. (Boy do they have a memory for what they buy you from School.)

This year my husband and son thought they were buying me the perfect gift, a book, i LOVE books but instead of buying me a novel or a knitting / crochet book what did they buy, a cookbook and wait for it, not a cookbook for humans but a cookbook for dogs, yes you heard right DOGS!

Buy your copy here.

After i gave them the blank look and raised eyebrows their reply was " Well you spoil Jack ( our Dog) and treat him like a kid so we thought you would like it"


It sat in the recipe book stand for sometime and i would have a giggle when i walked past and then it got the better of me.
"IF" i was taking note of what i was feeding the kids as far as all the additives and preservatives then  "WHY" was i feeding Jack canned food ?

I shall share a little more next time on what Jack thinks.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

A Crafter's Dream / Christmas Giveaway.

Not another giveaway you say,
"well yes, it is but with a difference" you can either take part as a sponsor or a blog or both if you want to. So far l count 46 blogs taking part which means there are this many giveaways maybe more as some are giving away more than one prize.
There is still time to sign up just follow the links below, you might also might want to mark the dates on your calender if you wish to enter for your chance to win.

On Tutus and Tea Parties is a list of all blogs taking part so you might like to add these to your reading  list.
 Cheers Marie

Friday, 7 September 2012

Win an I-Pad

Together with Mindful Parenting magazine and a few other Sponsors l'm excited to be bringing you this chance to win an I-Pad (oh if only l could enter)

Terms and conditions

In order to have a valid entry you will need to LIKE the Facebook page of each sponsor (Total 16 points). Each LIKE will give you 1 point and you must have a minimum of 16 points in this category for your entry to be valid.
In order to do this you need to Enter Here

You can earn EXTRA points (thereby increasing your chance to win) by:

Subscribing to Mindful Parenting Magazine HERE
Sharing the giveaway on Facebook. Simply  CLICK HERE and type “Mindful Parenting Magazine and Sponsors are giving away an iPad!”
Tweeting about the Giveaway
Follow Mindful Parenting Magazine on Twitter
All points will be checked in order for the winning entry to be valid.

Giveaway starts 8th September and ends 29th September. Winner will be drawn on 30th September. Once we have verified eligibility, contacted the winner and received a response, we will announce the winner’s name on this website.

Good Luck
Cheers Marie

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Thinking of Suicide.....please don't

Yes l know it is a horrible word and topic but one that is so common in today's society,it seems more and more people are affected by it.
Our family has this year not so long ago a young girl who was in my son's class through school, 16 yrs old is just too young.
The school community and more namely her friends had no idea of her thoughts not a hint was given, she went to school, like normal, she went to work, like normal, she went to a party after work, said "see ya" to her mates just like she normally would.
Went home, in one door and out the other.........
Below is an open letter l have come across online, l have no idea who the original writer of this letter is but l would like to thank them for it, for although it has made me cry while reading it l think it is a very useful tool for everyone to use because it effects more people than you think.
Please feel free to forward it to anyone who you feel may be able to use it. 
 Thinking of suicide..?
You’re sitting in your room, door locked, with a pen in your hand and a blank piece of paper in front of you. Your hand is shaking, and the tears begin again - for the third time in the past hour. ‘To my family’ you write at the top of the page, but decide it’s a bad way to begin your letter, your suicide letter. You try again, start over, again and again, but you don’t know

where to begin. No one understands you; no one knows what you’re going through, you’re alone or at least that’s what you think. Nobody would care if you’re alive or not, you mean nothing to nobody.

It’s night, and you slip into bed. ’Goodbye’ you whisper into the darkness. And with that, you take your last breathe and end it all.

No body cares, right? Well you thought wrong. It’s a Tuesday the following morning, and when it’s 7:21, your mother comes and knocks on your door. She doesn’t know you can’t hear her she doesn’t know you’re gone. She knocks a few more times, calling your name to open up. When there is no reply from your side of the door, she opens it and screams. She collapses on the ground while your dad rushes to your room. Your siblings have already left for school. Your very weak mother collects all the energy she’s got which is close to nothing to walk over to your bed. She leans over your dead body, crying, squeezing your hand, screaming. Your dad is trying to stay strong, but the tears escape his eyes; calling 000 or 911 with his left hand while his other one is on your mother’s back. Your mother blames herself. All those times she had said ‘no’ to you, all those times she had screamed at you, and sent you to your room over something stupid. Your father will blame himself for not being there for you when you asked for help, for being away from home at work for long. Nobody cares, right?

8:34. There’s a knock on your classroom door it’s the school principle. She looks more worried than ever. She calls the teacher to the side; all the students worried: what’s going on? The principle then later announces about your suicide. The popular girl that always called you fat and ugly is now blaming herself. The kid that would always copy your homework but treat you like crap ~ he’s blaming himself. The boy that sits behind you ~ the one that always threw things at you during class ~ he’s blaming himself too. The teacher is blaming herself - for all those times she’d scream at you for forgetting your homework, or not listening in class. People are crying, screaming, shocked, in regret of what they did. They’ll all be devastated - even the kids you’ve never talked to before. Still nobody cares about you, right?

Your siblings get home. Your mother has to tell them that you’re gone; forever. Your little sister ~ no matter how many times she’s screamed at you, told you she hated you and stole your stuff ~ always loved you, and saw you as her hero; her role model. She now starts to blame herself; why didn’t I do what she told me to do when she told me to? Why did I take her stuff even when she asked me not to? This is all my fault. Your brother gets home ~ the boy that never cries. He’s now in his room; mad at himself ~ he caused your death. All those times he’d played pranks on you. He’s punching holes in his wall, turning over things; he doesn’t know how to deal with the fact that you’re gone. Forever. Nobody cares about you, right? Right?

It has been over a month. The door to your room has been closed all this time. Everything is different now. Your brother has to be sent to anger management classes, your little sister cries everyday still waiting for you to come back. Everyday she waits for you to come back home. The popular girls have now turned anorexic. They don’t know how to deal with the pain that they’re feeling. Your father has depression; your mother hasn’t slept for nights it’s all her fault. She’s been crying and screaming every night wishing for you to come back. The boy who would always bother you dropped out of school. The boy that copied your homework now cuts. But nobody cares about you, aren’t I right?

Your mother finally decides to go clean out your room. But she can’t do it. She’s locked herself in your room for two days to try to clean up your clothes, your things. But she can’t she can’t say goodbye to you, not yet, not now. Never.

It’s your funeral. It’s a big one ~ everybody comes. No one knows what to say. The beautiful girl with the big smile is gone; you’re somewhere else. No one knows what to say, they’re all still shocked. Everyone cries, everyone misses you. They all wish you’d come back but you don’t, and you won’t.

Still think nobody cares about you? Think again. Even if people don’t show it, they care about you, they love you. If you kill yourself today or any other day you won’t know just how much you meant to people. If you kill yourself today, it stops your pain, but it pains all the ones who know you for the rest of their life. Suicide is the easy way out - but it’s the wrong choice. Life is beautiful. Yes, it does have its ups and downs everyone has their bad days. Sometimes people go through tough times in their lives like you’re probably going through now but bad times come and go. You might not see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s there. No matter how hard life gets, never give up on yourself, or on your life.

Take a minute now, and think. If you killed yourself ~ how would the people that love you feel/go through? Can’t think of anything? Well I’ll tell you: tears, tears, and more tears. Devastation. Guilt. Pain. Broken. Regret. Miserable.

If after reading this you still feel suicidal, there are people that can help you. I’m here for you whenever you need me, and I’ll be more than happy to listen to you and try to help you feel better. There are teachers, parents, grandparents, neighbors, adults, councilors ~ they’re all there for you whenever you need them.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Crocodile Stitch

For a while now l have being coming across a new crocheting stitch referred to as the "Crocodile Stitch" the first place l saw it was on Craftsy in the pattern section. I tried to find patterns on different sites and on you tube but they were confusing.
The link l want to share with you today has what l consider to be the most easily explained tutorial l've seen.
So please follow the link below and have a look, l would appreciate you popping back to let me know what you think
Crocodile Stitch
Cheers Marie

Friday, 27 July 2012

Stay in the News

Hi all
Well it has taken a little longer than l first thought it would but l now have my newsletter sign-up up and running.
 With all the changes on Facebook and other social media l am finding l longer have the rapport with some of my customers,so l hope to do it this way.
In the newsletter will be lots of different offers only for subscribers after all you are my returning customers so you deserve a little more.
I am currently working on some new ideas and would like to be able to release them soon via a newsletter so please take the time to follow the link below and feel free to tell your friends too.
Cheers Marie

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Home made Sausage Rolls

Well here it is the recipe that caused a frenzy on my FB page, maybe because it was around lunchtime when l posted the photo and everyone was hungry ( l know l was) or the yummy looking photo, but for me it was the smell pure and simple and if you could smell through the computer screen l would off had you all at my door.
So batten down the hatches and start baking these.

This recipe makes about 6-7 dozen so make sure you have a few spare hours.
They can be frozen for up to 6mths but good luck getting them to last that long.

Before you start: l am not a master-chef nor claim to be one this is a recipe that my family and l have used for years as such measurements and methods are a guide only.

You will need:
About 8 sheets of Puff  Pastry- I use Pampas Brand as l found this to be the nicest ( l have used home brands but the kids don't like them as much)

Lay out the sheets of pastry to thaw before making the sausage mixture.

2kg Sausage Mince- I buy mine from the butcher because it's nicer than supermarket.
2 med- large onions chopped finly
2 med- large carrots - grated
2 cloves garlic minced - I started adding this to help ward of the winter colds & flu
about 1/2 bunch fresh parsley - you can add dry just use what you think
3 eggs -2 to mix in mixture and 1 to glaze sausage rolls before baking
Salt & Pepper to taste.

Mix all this into a bowl- this kids love doing this bit as they can get their hands in something gooey.

I cut my pastry sheets in half and in the middle of this l make a sausage using the mixture, l then roll it together and cut it evenly into 5 pieces.

Place these onto a lightly greased oven tray (and if your like me this is where you remember to turn on the oven about 180 degree's will do)
Pick holes in tops using a fork, glaze with beaten egg and place in oven to cook until a lovely golden brown.

You can serve with any number of sauce's if you want our favorite is tomato.

If you have any left let cool and place in freezer bags and freeze
Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

So You've liked a Facebook Page..

What do you do next?
Just follow my FB Dumb Bunny guide, thats in plain English for those non-techno speaking people like me.

Well as I have discovered if you tick the "Show in news feed" as everyone advises you too, it does just that, in your personal "News feed" and let me tell you, your friends soon get sick of seeing all the pages you like and their status updates.
 This is what I now do when I "Like" a page and before I go any further this is all done using my "Personal Profile"

From the "Drop Down List" on the right of the page you can see I have created a list called "My Pages"so for those of you who just want to get all your pages onto one list to start with, this is how I did it.

Return to your PP home page from the left hand side "click" your newly created list

Now on the left "Click" Manage List

From the "Drop Down" you can see where you can "Edit your List", Click here

Make sure you click on the Pages from the drop down when this screen appears, this will have any page you have ever "Liked." You can see that  by clicking on the icon you can easily add pages to you list, I did this for everyone so they were all there to start from again.

Here you can see all your pages... I have over 900
Over 900 pages I can hear the comments now "How do you keep up with that?"
Don't worry I said it too, time to make more lists according to what the pages are.

Return to your  PP home page and on the right where your page name is listed ie:madwestdesigns click here so you go to your BP. Now scroll down until you reach where your Page likes are listed.

By Hovering over the "Like Icon" you can now put all your pages into lists according to what they are.If  you wish to make a new list just Click "+New list" and follow the prompts "easy peasy"

The only downside to this that I can find is all those pages that you converse with using your BP may not know you as your PP.
The upside is far greater in that I will no longer have an out of date page news feed and miss out on what all my pages are doing and I also won't be annoying my Friends or Family on my Personal News Feed
Hope this helps
Cheers Marie

Monday, 4 June 2012

Friday, 1 June 2012

Blog Feature for Madwestdesigns

Jill from Creating my way to success has just done a lovely feature on some of my items.
I am so lucky to know lovely people like Jill, please take the time to explore Jill's blog while you are there.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Absence makes the heart grow Fonder

Or so l am hoping.
It has nearly being a month since my last post,not to worry l am still here and l know it sounds like an excuse but l have being super busy and sick all at the same time and something had to give.
Well a few things actually l have had no energy whats so ever to knit or crochet and it is killing me but in the last week l have finished an item for my good friend at Hranni Handmade for an auction she is hosting and have started some more.
I think l am nearly better too so l might just be back on track.
And lastly if any of my wonderful followers have a blog please leave me a link so l can find you.
Thanks so much
Cheers Marie

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Karen from Rising Star shares her UFO's

Today l  would like you to meet Karen from Rising Star Art.

Karen tells us about a few of her UFO's and the story behind them.

I have the luxury of being a full time artist due the love and support of my husband which is truly wonderful.
As a truly creative person l like to explore different ideas,medium and projects.
In my painting l have gone through many incarnations and before my cow paintings become so popular, l painted a lot of what l call my "people on the couch"series-oil paintings of people taken from their can id photos on the couch. I have being known to create some fantasy paintings of myself on the couch with famous people and also some famous people with each other.
"So what is my oldest UFO"
I guess my oldest one would be a painting that l began about 4 years featuring Lisa Marie Presley on Oprah Winfrey's couch during an interview. Lisa Marie struck ma as such a sad person who missed her father terribly and it gave me the idea for a painting with Elvis standing behind the couch watching her on Oprah.I was going to title it "Daddy's Here." I still do these painting by commission,but l haven't finished this one or painted one for myself in a long time.

 My next most prominent UFO would be the coloring book that l started about 1 1/2 years ago.l have completed transforming 6 of my cow paintings into coloring book form but still need maybe 4 more and a cover. Then l have to spend more time researching the best way to print and bind it.

"I think these are going to make a pretty awesome coloring book "

Two more things on my to-do list are painting of my daughter since she's gone and left me for collage and a coloring book version of my children's book "Millicent and the Faraway Moon"

"Karen tells me she has copies of this to sell so please be in touch with her."

I haven't completely forsaken these projects. I just find it hard to find time.I spend a lot of time marketing my existing work on the web and at art shows and l am also quite enamored with making pottery which takes a good bit of time.Add to that taking care of the aforementioned husband, a house,a daughter,3 cats ....and there just doesn't seem time to be enough hours in the day.