Christmas 2014: Part 2

Christmas is almost upon us! Three moreMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 13
sleeps! Is everyone getting excited? Are you looking forward to a few days off work? Or are you looking forward to a few quiet days after Christmas?

I am getting excited. I am not sure how much time I will get off work, but I won’t be working full time do not worry! It will be a good chance to catch up on some things, knock some jobs off my list and hopefully start the new year afresh! Assuming “the boss” (my hubbie!) doesn’t come up with any brain waves! I’ll have to keep himMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 14 liquored up and hopefully the cricket will keep him occupied! I am also looking forward to a few quiet days. I have been trying to catch up with as many friends as possible before Christmas, among other work/home/cake duties, so it will be good to have a few days home without any dates/appointments!

I didn’t get to do everything I wanted to this month, unfortunately I had a cold last week (I dislike colds during summer very much!),Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 15 had a couple of skin allergies earlier in the month (little blisters on your fingers makes it hard to write and impossible to do cake things!!). But I believe I have almost finished my Christmas shopping – just two more small things! And I have made 4 cakes and have another 5 in the making! So I do not think I am doing too bad :)

I have still been sharing something Christmasy every day on Facebook and am up to 22 out of 25! I thought I would blog about them now in case I go into a chocolate coma on Christmas Day and cannot finish my 25 days of Christmas!

As you know I love all things fantasy and I have added a couple of Christmas related creatures to my collection the past couple of years. Last year I was admiring lots of mermaids made by Mermaids Dreaming by Kotton Valley Dolls on Facebook. I happened to be online one day when they showed these amazing Rudolphs that were going to be available for sale very soon. I loved them, especially the one I was so very lucky to buy! He reminds me of Mr Tumnus, the faun from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe portrayed by James McAvoy. He fits in the palm of my hand and did I say that I loved him very much? He’s adorable!Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 16

I’m not sure if I have spoken about Supernatural that much, except maybe in my Scruffy vs Clean Cut blog post. When I first heard of Supernatural I had either just finished, or was just finishing watching all the Charmed episodes. When my sister mentioned this new show I was like “that sounds like a boy version of Charmed” and wasn’t interested. I even saw Dean as a guest on an evening talk show (might have been Good News Week) and thought he looked too cute to fight supernatural beings. I can’t remember how I actually started watching Supernatural, I think my sister had to tell me about it again and I listened to her this time and then I was hooked! And as much as I love Charmed, Sam and Dean are so much better! Makes Charmed look like child’s play! So I love Supernatural, just in case I wasn’t clear.

Now I do not think I have spoken too much about my love of puppets, Jim Henson and Brian Froud yet. I grew up watching Sesame Street and the The Muppet Show, and loved Fraggle Rock when it was on. And of course there were amazing puppets used in The Labyrinth. So I love puppets and consider them pretty much fantasy creatures, but I never considered owning one until a friend bought a puppet at FAO Schwarz – must-see toy store in New York! He owned a puppet! And I wanted one (being the big kid I am!). Unfortunately you can’t order the puppets on-line so that was out of the question, and then I couldn’t even decide what puppet I wanted. Did I want Kermit the Frog, or a Fraggle or something else? My interest in puppets grew again when I saw Avenue Q –  puppets definitely could be for adults! hehe Then when we went to DragonCon in Atlanta I saw a lady with a self-made Fraggle. Boy I really wanted a puppet!!

Last year at Supanova I Cursed Creations Supanova 2014was walking around all the stores with my sister, niece and nephew. We saw a store called Cursed Creations that had puppets! My eyes must have lit up because the lovely lady behind the desk asked if I was into puppets, I said no but I was interested in them. My sister and I had a look at the puppets and I saw Dean from Supernatural and thought he was cool, but Sam has always been my favourite. I also thought Edward and Bella from Twilight were pretty cool (top right in the photo), but I definitely didn’t like Twilight as much as Supernatural. While I was walking around Supanova later on I went onto Facebook and liked Cursed Creations Facebook page and looked through their photos. It was then that I noticed there had been a Sam puppet too but he had already sold by the time I found the store! It was then I decided I “needed” those two puppets – a Sam and a Dean! They were the perfect puppets for me. Unfortunately Dean had sold by the time I had made up my mind, but after a quick Facebook message I was told they were definitely make a Sam and Dean for me! (Puppets from Supanova 2014 photo sourced from https://www.facebook.com/CursedCreations).

So guess who I got for Christmas? Sam and Dean puppets! Here is my first photo of them! I am still waiting for a good hair day before I take any selfies with them! I have also been a little too busy this December and haven’t put our Christmas tree up, so I made one with GIMP! I love my Sam and Dean very much – they are perfect!Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 17

Before I show another fantasy purchase, here are a few more photos of my Christmas so far this year including a photo of an Australian Christmas Tree (Nuytsia floribunda)and an Australian Christmas Spider (Austracantha minax). I wanted to share these for my non-Australia readers and they are both such unique species! Whenever I see a Christmas Tree I smile knowing Christmas is near! I haven’t seen a Christmas Spider for about 14 years, but definitely love seeing them when I do. They always have different colours on them and they are definitely not a spider you squish! They are too pretty and they never seem to get in your way.

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 18 aMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 18 b

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 19Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 20

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 21

My other purchase last year was from the talented Natasha Morgan. I also follow Natasha on Facebook and also enjoy reading her blog. Last year she made lots of peg dolls, which are about 12cm tall and the dolls are made on wooden pegs, and when I saw Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts from A Christmas Carol I just had to have them. I must admit that the Ghost of Christmas Present isn’t what Natasha intended her to be, but Natasha’s version had already been purchased and I wanted a complete set and the red and white doll just reminded me of Christmas. I think Natasha did an amazing job and the Ghost of Christmas Past is beautiful – I cannot believe how detailed she is considering how small she is. I take my hat off to people who can sew! I watched The Muppet Christmas Carol on the weekend and their Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come was also a grim reaper.

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 22

I thought this might be a shorter post, but I guess I got excited talking about Christmas, fauns, and puppets! I hope you have enjoyed the next 10 days of Michelle’s Labyrinth Christmas. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year (although I might write a post before then!). Please be safe and don’t drink and drive!

 Merry Christmas!

 On the Thirteenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a some home-made fruit cakes.

On the Fourteenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a trip to an Aussie beach. 

On the Fifteenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a cupcake stack with a reindeer.  [Made in 2013 in cake decorating class.]

 On the Sixteenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a sleeping Rudolph faun.  [Made by Mermaids Dreaming by Kotton Valley Dolls.]

On the Seventeenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Sam and Dean puppets.  [Made by Cursed Creations]

On the Eighteenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a lots of wrapping paper.  [And the wrapping paper tube was enjoyed by Hamlet and Macbeth!]

On the Nineteenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Secret Santa gift at work.

On the Twentieth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me an Australian Christmas Tree and Australia Christmas Spider.

On the Twenty-first day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Christmas cakes in the making. [Work-in-progress cakes!]

On the Twenty-second day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Scrooge and the ghosts from A Christmas Carol. [Made by Natasha Morgan]

Christmas 2014: Part 1

Christmas to me is all aboutMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 1 family and friends and spending time together. I love the happy excited kids looking forward to the arrival of Santa Claus. I love the music, food, decorations and general merriment around this time of year. I know there is also a bit of stress this time of year as we’re all busy wrapping up (not just presents) things at work before the public holidays and maybe even some Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 2extra time off! The shops are busy (crazy!), but there is always this great vibe! Some magic in the air!

This year to get me into the spirit sooner I decided to post a photo on Facebook about what Christmas means to me from the 1st December until the 25th. Most of the photos so far have been about something Christmasy that happened thatMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 3 day, or something I saw (or a cake I’ve made!). To describe the photos I started making my descriptions sound like the Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas – one of my favourite childhood Christmas carols. (Whenever I think of “Five Golden Rings” I hear Goofy’s voice from our A Disney Christmas LP! And then I have a giggle when I recall Donald Duck stealing Goofy’s line later in the song. I do have a feeling my Dad started to groan a little bit when we wanted that LP played… again! Thankfully I now have it on CD and can listen to it as much as my heart desires!!)

When I was younger I did question if the Twelve Days of Christmas started onMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 4 Christmas Day or ended on Christmas Day. I think I hoped they ended on Christmas Day, because that meant your true love gave you presents earlier! The other day I learnt that the Twelve Days of Christmas actually starts on Christmas Day and ends on a Christian feast day called Epiphany (January 6th) or Twelfth Night (which is not just a Shakespearean play!) on the evening of January the 5th marking the coming of the Epiphany and concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 5Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 6

I also learnt what ‘Advent’ means – have you ever wondered what Advent Calendar means? I have never thought to query that word, when I was younger it was more about the pictures and the chocolates! So I looked it up and advent means “a coming into place, view, or being; arrival” and Advent (with a Capital A) means “the coming of Christ into the world.” Apparently I am incorrect to say my Christmas photos are the 1 to 25 days of Christmas, they are the 1 to 25 days of Advent.

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 7Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 8

I have mentioned before I am not a religious person and I respect people who are. I also respect that Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, however people have been celebrating Christmas in various ways since the Middle Ages. I read on Wikipedia that in 1843 when “Charles Dickens wrote the novel A Christmas Carol it helped revive the “spirit” of Christmas and seasonal merriment. It played a major role in portraying Christmas as a holiday emphasizing family, goodwill, and compassion… Dickens sought to construct Christmas as a family-centered festival of generosity, in contrast to the community-based and church-centered observations.” And this is what Christmas means to me!

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 9

So my 25 days of Christmas (not Advent because I am not waiting for anything to arrive because I am celebrating Christmas now) is about what Christmas means to me, to revive my Christmas spirit and to hopefully increase the excitement and merriment to those around me! I am enjoying the Christmas season so far and have caught up with some old friends already, been to a couple of Christmas parties, given some Christmas presents, and sung (poorly) some Christmas carols! So I hope I do not offend anyone but here are the first 12 days of my 25 day Christmas this year.

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 10Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 11

On the First day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Couple of Penguins Sledding. [2012 Christmas Cake]

On the Second day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Gingerbread Man. [2013 Christmas Cake]

On the Third day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Cake Push Pops. [Made in 2013 in cake decorating class.]

On the Fourth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Santa Penguin. [Hamlet’s favourite Christmas toy!]

On the Fifth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Two Rudolph Reindeer. [That were eaten by Hamlet and Macbeth last year – without permission!]

On the Sixth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Lovely Catch-ups with Friends. [Picture shows place mat at Miss Mauds.]

On the Seventh day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Handmade Christmas Card.

On the Eighth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Mixed Fruit in Brandy. [Watch this space to see what I make this year!]

On the Ninth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Santa Bandanas! [Pups’ bandanas were made by DeeziBeez]

On the Tenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Burswood Christmas Tree! [Hubbie and I celebrated our 17th anniversary on the 10th December!]

On the Eleventh day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Fondant Christmas Tree! [2013 Christmas Cake]

On the Twelfth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Rudolph Christmas Cake! [A cake I made for a friend for his Christmas pressie].

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 12

I hope you are enjoying your Christmas / Advent / December so far! And remember… You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town! 

 

 

 

 

No More Cruel World

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
‘Cos I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
Mad world
Mad world
Mad World
Mad world

Whenever I hear the Tears for Fears song Mad World, for some reason I swap the word ‘mad’ with ‘cruel’. It is definitely a mad world that is for sure, and if you want to see one of the best 20 minutes to depict this, watch the beginning of The Gods Must Be Crazy again. However I think it is a cruel world too, well at least some people in it are cruel.

About a year ago I tried to stop caring what people think because I have realised people are cruel, or just do not care enough to ask appropriate questions before they judge. I know we are told not to worry about others, but sometimes you just do, especially if you are a caring person. Lately I have heard way too many cruel things that I have given up caring so much. Although I really wish people wouldn’t be so cruel. Why can’t people mind their Ps and Qs, be on your best behaviour and worry about their own lives?!

Some examples that have got under my skin have been:

  • A friend posts a few photos of herBaby photo kids on Facebook and someone criticized her for posting so many. I think this is totally unfounded. This friend is on the other side of the country and I do not get to see her kids, so I love seeing the photos. Why would posting photos of your children affect anyone in a bad way? It is not hard to scroll over them if you are not interested in them. I think a true friend would be happy to see photos of their friend’s kids and if you do not have the time, keep scrolling!
  • I have heard complaints about people who post pictures of food on Facebook. According to one person we do not care what other people are having for dinner and that way back when (ie when we used film in cameras) we didn’t take photos of our dinner and show them to our friends when they visited. In my opinion this is an irrelevant comparison. Film and processing cost money, and it was expensive to take photos of your children growing up and photos while you were on holidays. I wish I had taken more photos while we were in Paris, but I just couldn’t afford to. I wish I had more photos of Makita when she was a puppy, but I couldn’t afford it. Times have changed. Access to photos, especially in the digital age, is so much cheaper and easier. Also society has changed, there is more interest in cooking, which has been made even more popular with reality shows. I for one do not mind seeing what people are having for dinner every now and then. It gives me ideas! If you are not interested in seeing pictures of food, respect the other persons interests, say nothing and keep scrolling.
  • A friend was going on a holiday andMichelle's Labyrinth her so-called friend said she is lucky to have a sugar-daddy! Who says things like that? My friend has worked so hard over the years. Her husband has worked hard too. If they can afford a holiday, why should they be made to feel guilty? A true friend would be happy (even excited) for the other person and would want to hear all about the trip. If you can’t be happy for your friend don’t put your issues onto her! Man, don’t we all wish for that Powerball, or a sugar-daddy! But someone who has worked hard and that has a hardworking partner does not equate to a sugar-daddy!
  • On the topic of travel I have also given up wanting to tell people tales about my holidays. If they don’t ask I don’t bring it up. Maybe I just read some people wrong, but the majority of the time people don’t ask, or even worse they don’t ask about my holiday and then ask the question “So where are you going on your next holiday?”! I absolutely loath that question, especially if I have just got home! After holidays you are usually back at work with more work that you can handle, so you are usually trying to get back on top of things while not losing wonderful memories you just created and also not wasting any of the rest and relaxation you had. TheMichelle's Labyrinth furthermost thought from my mind is where I would love to travel to next. Maybe its just me, but when we get back from a holiday we have usually spent more than we should have so aren’t really thinking of the next holiday. But don’t let this worry you if you want to hear about my travels as I will tell you and I will write about them when I can. I really want to write things down so I don’t forget myself! My hubbie’s memory is terrible and can’t remember anything, so I must write some tales down soon.
  • I have had numerous people ask me “when” am I going to look for a job. How about asking if I am working, or if I am going to look for a job, or even start with “what have you been doing lately”. I hate “when” questions… for example “When are you going to have children?” They are very presumptuous questions. Like what if I am not ready to have a full-time job, or what if I can’t have children. Anyway, I used to get complaints that I spoke too much about work and posted on Facebook too much about work. I am sorry I used to work hard and that was all I had time for, hence that was all I could talk about. It was all I did! And now I am working part-time, I get the impression I am not working enough. Is my working or not working affecting anyone (besides maybe my husband)?… No. In my opinion a true friend would listen to hear about your successes or complaints about work, and a true friend would be interested enough in your life to ask how things are going first, before jumping into asking what could be an inappropriate question!
  • There are weekly if not dailyMichelle's Labyrinth reminders that people have invisible disabilities or illnesses, but some people don’t seem to get it. What is there to get? Some people are hurting, although they are not bleeding. It is a fact, so just get it. I have heard one friend say it is just too hard to explain her illness and get people to understand, which is so sad when they are on an array of medications and cannot do certain things and are given grief by cruel people. I have also heard that someoneMichelle's Labyrinth said so-and-so wasn’t that sick, but people put on a brave face. Or another comment was said to a friend that so-and-so did this when his back was bad and why are you not doing everything you can to get better; when there are different injuries and if your doctor told you to keep your back immobilised then I think that is what you should be doing! When my wrist was bad a couple of months ago it was some swelling pressing on the nerve so I had to keep it immobilised and ice it when I could to reduce the swelling. By looking at my wrist it looked fine, but not all injuries, disabilities and diseases are visible. Why are some people so cruel? Why can’t everyone just be nice to one another? [I am sorry but not everyone is going to get this, but when I say “Why can’t everyone just be nice to one another?” all I can think of next is “Even Oedipus had a mother!” – lyrics from the song Friends by the Doug Anthony Allstars – My terrible sense of humour!].
  • This was something I found really sad. I know a friend who didn’t invite to people to their child’s Christening because didn’t want to deal with people’s opinions on religion. I am not a religious person but I respect people have different beliefs and interests. I would have loved to attend and been part of a special event for my friend and her immediate family. It’s sad that opinionated people have some much control. Maybe I am being opinionated by writing this post, but I believe these opinions aren’t hurting anyone and surely I am just making you think about people’s actions, words and wouldn’t it be a better place if people just got along.

The world is cruel enough without snide comments, jealousy or people just being plain rude. There was a trigger that made me start writing this post and it is also the reason why it has taken me so long to finish it. It was proof about how cruel this world is. On 21 September 2013 unidentified gunmen attacked the upmarket Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya…

The Westgate Nairobi attack really freaked me out because I have been in that mall. I actually thought that was the safest mall I had been in because as we drove into the mall we had to go through security gates and they checked the car, the boot and even put mirrors under the car for guns and explosives etc. I know this isn’t the first terrorist attack and that September 11 attacks and the Bali bombing were horrific, and the Bali bombings affected many Western Australians. But I had never been personally affected before.

Michelle's Labyrinth Then I heard the worst thing of all. I had met, talked to, attended a wedding with one of the victims. A beautiful woman named Ruhila Adatia-Sood. She was beautiful (she had this biggest smile), vibrant, passionate and just lovely! I was distraught. Then I read she was 6 months pregnant with their first-born. Could this be any worse? I am not going to write anymore as I believe I have made my point. If you want to read more go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24195845

I just cannot fathom why there are such bad people in this world. And I definitely do not understand why seemingly normal people can be so cruel, especially when there is such horror in this world as it is.

I am not sure how I came across these lyrics from Matilda: The Musical but I thought them extremely fitting. 

Naughty Lyrics
Just because you find that life’s not fair, it
Doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it.
If you always take it on the chin and wear it,
Nothing will change.
Even if you’re little you can do a lot, you
Mustn’t let a little thing like ‘little’ stop you.
If you sit around and let them get on top, you
Might as well be saying you think that it’s OK,
And that’s not right

I am sorry about my rant! But I doMichelle's Labyrinth not think it is right that some people are not nice. I do not think being a ‘Troll’ every now and then is fun. We need to not waste time with negativity – I really need to keep remembering this. As I have said I have had this in draft for a long time and I kept thinking about it every time I hear the song Mad World – so Yay, I have finally finished this post and got it off my chest! And I’ll just end with the old saying that I always live by “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”. How wise was Thumper from Bambi!?!

 

I hope you liked the irony of a couple of the memes! Sources of Memes:

Kids Photos – https://www.jeremymorgan.com/funny/funny-memes/122-funny-memes-for-may-21st/attachment/5-21-funny-memes-pictures-108/
Holidays – http://cf.chucklesnetwork.com/items/5/1/7/7/3/original/oh-so-youre-on-vacation-your-last-500-posts-told-me-nothing-abou.jpg
Credit Card Bill – http://m.memegen.com/p961ze.jpg
Invisible Disability – http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/8110/gg51.jpg
Medical Bills – http://www.lastkisscomics.com/blog/comics/2010-06-22-sticks-and-stones.gif
Trolling – http://wac.7725.edgecastcdn.net/807725/website/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/jzlzgn5.jpg

 

 

 

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