Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Christmas Cupcakes

For my church small group's last meeting for 2011 tonight:

Not nearly as professional as those made by The Cupcake Lady or Yummy Mummy, but they'll have to do.

I went with blue and red instead of green and red just for a change from the Christmas paraphernalia. They have caramel hidden centres. They took me forever - I forgot how sticky plastic icing gets. I've only worked with it once before (for my Rubix Cube cake). Now I remember why!

Looking forward to this evening - great company, food, wine, crazy Santa present swap, games... It's going to be fabulous :-)

Friday, 25 November 2011

Frustrated on a Friday...

...By people who think I work for them when I don't.

I swear I have a sign on my head saying "Expect me to do your job for you".

Grrr.

That is all.

Have a good weekend. I'm going to find some wine.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Right now...

...All I want to do is something creative. It's like the annoying mosquito bite on my ankle - an itch that just won't stop. I've made heaps of jewellery, but I'm looking forward to a point in time when writing gets less hectic so that I can wrap some presents, make some cards and do some general "prettifying". I also need to do a little sewing and baking. If I can just hold out a bit longer!

I've decided as of today that I'm not taking on any more work for this year. I have enough to keep me busy until 15 Dec, which is my last day before we leave for holidays. As a friend pointed out over lunch, what's the point of being self employed if you can't decide when to say 'no' to work?

Easier said than done though. I need someone to hold me accountable and to remind me I decided to say 'no'. Any volunteers?

Off to finish up the last article for today and then I'm going to practise this 'no' business by turning off my PC and ignoring my emails until tomorrow.

Bye!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Happy 11/11/11

I am so glad the week is over, although the weekend looks pretty exhausting too. I need to do some work and sort out my tax documents for my accountant (blergh) and we also have lots of social stuff planned and then quite a serious meeting with some of our church elders to discuss some niggles on Sunday afternoon (not looking forward to that).

What I am looking forward is spending 11/11/11 eve with my uncle, whose bday is today (pretty cool date), and the rest of my family. And I'm looking forward to seeing two friends for coffee, catch-up and jewellery browsing on Sat and Sun mornings.

TSC is miserable at present because he has to pay a few speeding fines (tsssk tsssk) and replace his car's tyres, which are more expensive than he expected. And seeing he had to replace his Blackberry last week after losing his on the mine, it's been an expensive few weeks.

Today has been an interesting day. I presented a small social media workshop this morning for a business looking to tackle its online marketing. And I have Victoria with us for the first time.

Victoria is a lady who sleeps on the grass outside of our complex every week day. Most home-owners in our complex thought she was a lazy drunk, but she's actually a very hardworking lady who just needs a place to get some shut-eye.

Victoria works a night-time cleaning job at an advertising agency in Bryanston, but she lives right on the other end of Johannesburg in what us Gautengers call the Deep South (not the same one as in the US of A, obviously). She can't afford the time or the taxi money to get home every day, and she hasn't been able to find a daytime job or one closer to where she lives, so she sleeps on the grass verge outside our complex during the day and works every night.

Our homeowners actually complained at the AGM this year and asked if someone can't "move her elsewhere". It broke my heart because she's just trying to make a living and she's not causing anyone any harm or even bothering people. She leaves for work around the same time as most people are getting home.

It's been tugging on my heart for awhile, so two weeks ago I approached her and introduced myself. I asked her name and found out more about her. She's such a dear, with a big friendly smile and an open personality. I told her that I'm generally home on Fridays (which is when my domestic is here too) and invited her to use our bathroom, washing machine and spare bed if she needs to do so on a Friday.

She was so, so grateful and she immediately offered to do my washing up and ironing in return, but I've told her there's no need. I was incredibly humbled that such a small thing can make such a big difference to someone.

Today was the first day she's come - last week she was away at a funeral. I don't know her well yet and obviously there's a risk when you let someone into your home, but she's been incredibly polite and sweet. She washed herself, washed her clothes and has spent most of the day sleeping and chatting to our domestic worker.

I must admit that I was a bit nervous to extend an invitation to her, but so far I'm glad I did. She's desperate for a fulltime daytime cleaning job anywhere, so if you know of anyone who could help, please let me know.

I'll keep you updated on how things go. Until then, have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Multimedia Post

First, you HAVE to watch this super awesome music video made with jelly bean stop-animation (yes, you read that right):



Here are some more flowers from my garden:


And here are a few jewellery pics...


This is just a small sample - I'll never get around to photgraphing it all! But I'm happy to post more if you like?


Off to rewrite some articles on paint trends now (for real). Catch you all later!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Long overdue catch-up post

It's that insanely busy time of the year where freelancers are trying to make enough money to get through December and January, when the industry goes dead for two months. This means I've been working every hour that is sent and still struggling to fit everything in. Hence the lack of blogging.

Thankfully my huge 6 600-word report is done and dusted. Now it's just the client amendments and editing bit (my worst stage, actually). Hopefully the client meets his deadline, which is Monday.

I have a big business meeting tomorrow I still need to prep for, so I'll try to keep this brief, which means bullet points :-)

  • Cape Town was awesome. It always is. I love it so much, even when the wind is crazy (it made the wedding interesting - all the men were wearing kilts seeing the groom is Scottish). Here are a few random pics:
Squirrels always make me think of Cape Town. Little little guy was spotted in the park right next to where our friends Matt and Nicola stay. He was quite friendly too.


On Friday, TSC and I spent most of the day exploring Franschoek - one of our favourite parts of the Cape. This extremely tame rooster was intent on sharing our breakfast at Cafe Bon Bon.



This is the view from Dieu Donne, where the wedding was held on Saturday. I managed to snap a shot just before the weather rolled in. We had thick fog and pounding rain - I think the Scots brought the weather with them!

  • We discovered some lovely new wines. We tried to stay away from the "known" estates, many of which we've visited before, so we headed to Franschhoek Cellars (easy-drinking, affordable wines. Delicious cheeses too!) and Glenwood (most divine chardonnay!). Surprisingly, despite both of us being red wine drinkers, our favourite finds of the day were white wines.
  • We got to catch up with friends. We did drinks with my varsity friend, Meg, on Friday eve, and on Saturday we had breakfast with Matt and Nic before the afternoon wedding and walked along Camps Bay beach. Definitely some of my highlights. Our flight was delayed on Sun morning, but seeing we were on the same flight as friends from Gauteng, we all had coffee together and caught up on news, which was lovely.
  • Since the CT trip, it's been panic stations to get everything done! I've been asked to do another social media workshop at a company related to the one where I presented the last two, which will be fun, and I've had press launches, media releases, articles, web copy, brochures, reports and proposals to write, so it's been frantic. In between, I've been making jewellery to sell for Christmas money. I've decided not to hold an open house this year, but rather to invite people to let me know if they'd like to pop in to have a look. I'm also happy to take the jewellery to meet people where it suits them. I think that way there's less stress and emphasis on one day. I'm considering posting pics and prices here. What do you think? Is that a bit tacky?
  • It's definitely the silly season in terms of social events - everyone is scrambling to see each other before the year ends and our weekends are jammed packed until the holidays. This weekend I get to see my uncle, who's here from Kuwait, with my family tonight. Then tomorrow it's a business meeting and TSC's project team year-end function (which means I'm missing out on a friend's hen party, unfortunately). Sunday we have our supper-club Christmas lunch, a church leaders meeting and then church in the evening. Thankfully next weekend is slightly less crazy!
  • That's about it really. I've got lots I've been thinking about that I would like to blog (from thoughts on the R12 a day challenge to plans for Christmas presents, dealing with difficult people and a summary of 2011), but I have to take one thing at a time, and unfortunately right now I have to get my paying work done before I get to that stuff. Maybe soon :-)

Monday, 31 October 2011

Forget Halloween...

...It's my fourth blog birthday today.

That's right - four years ago on 31 October, I randomly decided to start a blog. And it's been some ride.

Thanks for reading. Will be back with a proper post as soon as I get a chance to breathe. So much I want to blog about!

Enjoy your trick or treating.