Live well, Laugh often, Love much

Tuesday, 24 April 2012


Today is ANZAC day in Australia and New Zealand. It is a public holiday and many people take the opportunity to attend a local Dawn Service.

My youngest daughter and I both go and work at the same school. It is a local Catholic College and it is well known for its interest and participation in Social justice issues. I was so proud when Little volunteered to represent the school at the dawn service this year.

At 4.30 this morning we were up and dressed ready to travel a few minutes drive to our local RSL cenitaph where the service was to be held. Little was up before me dressed in full school uniform including blazer (note this is a day off for this 16 year old so that usually means her not emerging from her room until well past 10am). We then had to park over a kilometre away and walk silently with a flow of people towards the cenitaph (still no complaining about the walk!!) It was a moving service with thousands of people attending. We stood in the crowd for nearly an hour watching the sun come up while listening to the last solemn, definitely a few tears shed.

She is now back in bed....and we probably won't see her until nearly lunch.....but, she did it because she wanted to be there. It is moments like today that you look at your children and think what great human beings they are becoming.

Anny :)

Friday, 30 March 2012

I am still here but life is just getting in the way!!

Sorry, I have just checked and it has been over two weeks since my last post! End of term is pretty full on in a school, especially in a Catholic school leading up to Easter....Lent, fundraising, Easter liturgies, reports, cross country.............

But........holidays started yesterday, YIPEE!!!! By the time I got home yesterday arvo I was truly spent. I sat down in my lounge chair and attempted a little arms were so weary I could hardly hold the hook! I feel revitalised! I am making a list of all the things I would like to do in the next two weeks....crochet, read, eat chocolate eggs, crochet, long walks with Cooper the dog, out for coffee, crochet, read, eat chocolate.....I can see a pattern forming here. Maybe I had better curtail the chocolate eating and add a bit more walking as my sister's wedding is in 4 weeks and the Year 12 formal in 3 weeks.

Ah yes I must add shopping to my list...I need a new outfit for the wedding!

And hopefully more blogging. I have nearly finished my sister's wedding happy with it, photos coming

Be back soon......


Wednesday, 14 March 2012


So remember all those little squares from my last post.............

Well here are half of them sewn together ( the colours look a bit washed out in this photo). This is to be a baby blanket for a young teacher at school. She goes on maternity leave at the end of term......two weeks away (yay), so I had better get a move on!

I'm loving my Stylecraft DK xxxxxx

Anny :)

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Glam shots

Okay I have found a camera with a battery that works. I have taken a few quick shots to reassure people that I do crochet. Unfortunately I am not really a photographer. I think I might need to glam up my shots a bit!

Lots of little pieces to put together for a baby blanket!

My very messy work multi colour ripple waiting for it's border and one queen size ripple that needs some attention soon if it is going to be ready for my sister's wedding present.

So, now I've got this photo thing sorted I plan to have some tadah moments coming up...stay tuned!

Anny :)

Friday, 9 March 2012

Thank goodness it's Friday!!

Oh boy, I am sitting on my lounge enjoying a glass of wine reflecting on a 'big week'. We are now into Week 7 of the term and  on the countdown...three weeks to go. The first term of the year in Australia is always the most exhausting one.

My year started poorly. Our school's library was extensively damaged by fire over the summer holidays and yes, my office was situated in that building. So for the last six weeks we have been surviving with no work space, no resources and coping with anxious kids that had lost their 'safe place'.

Last week our temporary accommodation was ready to move in to. When they say temporary I think that may mean at least 12 months or more!!! So what was salvaged from the wreckage was returned to us this week in many boxes that then needed to be unpacked.  Dirty, heavy, sweaty work but also very rewarding to get our space up and running again. Gradually over the week we have managed to make this space into our 'home' again.

Now let the year begin proper!!

Anny :)

Saturday, 3 March 2012


What an exhausting afternoon I have had!

Beach wedding!

This afternoon my husband and I sat down to plan our trip down south to my sister's wedding. My goodness I didn't realise how brain racking it would be!

One of my younger sisters is getting married at the end of April so our family are making the trek down to Sydney for the occassion. This involves 10 flights, 3 motel rooms, 1 hire car and I am sure knowing my daughters a lot of luggage.

What should have been a reasonably simple procedure was made more complex by the fact that everyone is arriving and departing at different times and on different days. At one stage I had 3 tabs open on my computer and was trying to flick back and forth coordinating flights while getting the best price... aaahhhh!!!!

So as of now I have 10 flights booked, 3 rooms reserved (hubby needs to ring back with credit card details) and hopefully a car booked (not too sure about that one as the site dropped out).

So, the hard stuffs done, now to really get organised for this wedding: finish crocheting the queen size ripple blanket for the wedding present, buy a new outfit, book a hairdressers appointment, get a carer for our dog, schedule a few days off work, make sure hubby's suit is clean, keep an eye on the girl's packing of their luggage...................

Lucky I have 7 weeks to go.....


Friday, 24 February 2012



Vietnam is such a beautiful country. We were fortunate enough to travel there in 2010 with not just our children but also my brothers family. This trip was bittersweet as it would probably not have eventuated without the tragic loss of two family members.

Daily life on the streets of Hanoi

Three years ago now my MIL passed away. We had to travel to Sydney for her funeral and while we were there we were also able to catch up with my brother and his family, It was my daughters birthday and we had a great night of catching up. The conversation centred around the importance of living life in the now. My brother and his wife had also lost close friends recently. So we decided that a trip to Vietnam was the go. My brother had travelled the world extensively in his youth but Vietnam had never been on his list. We were fortunate to have a little inheritance coming our way to finance the trip.

Moving the cattle along the beach at Hoi An

 We left dinner that night on a high...we had a plan....the kids were would be their first trip overseas!

Hanoi -this man made these detailed figures from Vietnamese playdoh!

That was the last time I saw my brother alive......he died three months later very suddenly and very tragically.....ten days after his fiftieth birthday!

Beautiful view after 1000 steps!

Nine months later my husband and I decided that we were going to continue planning our trip. I sent my SIL an email explaining our decision....would she be ready to join us?? I was certainly overjoyed when she accepted our would be have been what he wanted.

My SIL (R) and I on a junk in Halong Bay

So to say that trip was memorable is an understatement. We had the best time! We laughed , we cried, we remembered, we experienced, we celebrated, we honoured. My brother has now travelled to Vietnam as we left some of his ashes in the most beautiful place on earth.

The most beautiful, special place on earth.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


I am so sorry...I am not a good blogger!!

 I started this blog during our summer holidays. Being a teacher I had plenty of time over the holidays to spend time reading blogs. This inspired me to start my own very spontaneously late one night. All was going well until school went back and my time was a lot more limited.

 One of my favourite things about my favourite blogs is the photos. They inspire me to keep crafting, decorating, cooking, travelling....being!! The world is out there and through this window I am able to peek into the lives of others.

So, you say where are all your photos! What does your world look like? What are you making, doing, cooking??? This is where I am failing as a blogger. I need to take more photos but at the moment I need to organise my camera.

I grew up in the era of the film camera. That's right..take two shots of the same scene just in case the first one isn't great. Put the film aside to be taken to be developed....many months later actually do it. After much expense you get your envelope back of very poorly lit, badly framed, double shots.

So when digital photography came in I wasn't in the habit of taking photos and having a camera with me at all times. Yes I have probably missed many significant moments in my children's lives.

A few years ago we upgraded our camera for a trip to Vietnam. We had such a memorable trip and I treasure the photos we have of this family time together. From this I realised that I need to be recording these special moments more often.

 So what happened you ask?

 My camera broke....and I need to either get it fixed or replace it. Time once again has gotten in my way....this blog is my motivation to resolve this problem. I want to show you what I am making, doing, cooking, living, creating, being...............

Please watch this space...I will be back to show you my world.

Anny :)

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Discovering Crochet

My mum was a knitter and taught me how to knit from a young age but I actually taught my Mum how to crochet!!

When I was about 8 years old my best friend at school was called Megan. We were inseparable and I spent a lot of time at her place. Her grandmother was a lovely lady and was constantly making something. One day she sat us down and showed us how to crochet a simple granny square . Ooh I was hooked (excuse the pun!) and there started my love of crochet. I have swayed back and forth between knitting and crochet through my life.

My Mum was a little intrigued and wanted to have a go so we sat down and had our first lesson. Mum being a pretty dab hand with the knitting needles quickly picked up how to wield the hook and she also alternated between the two from then on.

Crochet was a great comfort to my Mum and also my family in her last few months of life. As Mum's cancer advanced she became unable to do a lot. Her vision became impaired due to radiation side effects and she spent many hours sitting in her comfy chair...with her crocheting as company.

 She was able to crochet a simple granny square fact she actually crocheted many large granny square for each of her five children and eight grandchildren. My blanket was the last one to be finished only a few weeks before she died. It would have to be one of my most precious keepsakes fifteen years later.

These blankets were also a great comfort to my older children through their grief. Each night I would tuck them into bed wrapped in their 'Nana blankets' to keep her close and cuddly. They still use these blankets in winter and I hope that each time they do brings back that memory of her.

We crochet daily for our family, pass on as gifts or sell our creations. I don't think we realise how much history and memories we are also creating.

Anny :)

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Wool and living in the Sub tropics

Living in the sub tropics can be very difficult if you have a passion for wool!

One, is the difficulty finding a good local yarn store.

 Two, is the climate...the heat can make it very uncomfortable to work in unless you have fans or  air con.

 Three, is the fact that you can put a lot of work into a piece of crochet or knitting be it as simple as a scarf or as detailed as blanket and there is very little time in the year when you can comfortably wear or use it.

It is really frustrating looking at blogs from around the world and seeing all the beautiful yarns available (I am sure there are good yarn shops here but nothing with the extensive range I have seen in the southern states of Australia) So a lot of my yarn shopping is now ordered on the internet. It can be a bit hit and miss as I am a touchy feely person and the actual sensation of touching the yarn is the first thing I do in a shop. Also choosing colours on a screen can be difficult as many of you know.

Winter in Brisbane is very short and very mild. Yes it does get cold at night and as we really don't need to heat our houses a snuggle blanket is good to watch television with but really you would only have about 4 months to use it.

 So this leads to the problem I am now over abundance of woolly things and really no need for any more!! So as I just can't stop this obsession I think I am either going to have to start selling my wares or lots of present giving.

Has anyone got any ideas on how to solve my dilemma.

Ooh I have a few tah dah moments coming!!!!

Back soon


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Happy Australia Day

Happy Australia Day everyone,

Today is the day when family and friends get together to celebrate living in our wonderful country. Commonly people have BBQs or go to the beach. Many people take this day to become Australian citizens and usually no matter where you live the day is finished with a firework display.

Unfortunately where  I live we have had a few days of torrential rain and are still expecting more today. Many roads are flooded and driving within the city is complicated and dangerous due to road closures. Many Australia Day celebrations have been cancelled due to the unpredictable weather. Fortunately we will be spending the day with good friends with a bbq and swim in their pool...yes we will swim as it is still quite warm.

 Many schools were closed yesterday. My school wasn't and we had a very difficult day  trying to keep the students dry ( What is it about teenage boys that makes them want to get saturated in the rain only to come into a classroom to smell like 'wet dog' for the rest of the day). Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit better as it has been a rather mixed up start to the new year for the students. The students I care for do not like 'change' and this year there have been some problems that directly affected my work area and their 'safe place'. Next week may be an interesting, challenging week as we try to settle everyone back into new routines. Busy but certainly never boring.

Have a great day everyone, wherever you are and whatever you do.

Anny :)

Monday, 23 January 2012

Good result!

Yay my week of anxiety is over.

 In my mail box this afternoon was my letter from Breast Screen Queensland to say 'they are pleased to inform me that no sign of breast cancer was found in my recent mammogram'. Another year until my next check.

I had my first mammogram at 40 years of age. This was a very stressful time as my mother had passed away from breast cancer. They did find a lump that day and it was biopsied. My family and I (I have 3 sisters) had a very anxious weekend waiting for the pathology results. They returned as inconclusive and I was sent to a specialist for further consultation. He went on to take another biopsy (OMG I had that bruise for a month) and more days of anxious waiting. A few days later my husband and I returned to the doctor to be told the lump was benign, however atypical and it would be best removed. A week later I had this lump removed.

So far 10 years later I have been lucky and had no more lumps but each year I have to endure that week of waiting and hoping that all is well for another year

Please never be deterred from having a mammogram. Yes it may be uncomfortable but it is really important for early detection. Breast screening is free for women over 50 in Australia and if you have a family history or have a concern it can be as low as 40 years.

So please if you are overdue for your next mammogram  make that tomorrow's job to do...make that appointment!

Anny :)


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

My own Stylecraft Special DK


When I first started reading blogs...long before I started this one, I was intrigued with the variety of yarn available around the world. One yarn that popped up many times that people always enjoyed working with was Stylecraft Special DK. The colours people were using were so bright and colourful. The range was so diverse and I wasn't able to get anything near it here in Brisbane Australia.

So I just had to have myself some!! Much to my husband's protests of "Oh no you don't need more wool, what about all that wool in the basket, what's the difference with this one?" So I found myself a good distributor here and sent off my order.

To say I was excited was an understatement and each morning my kids thought I was mad as I waited to see if my package would arrive. Luckily it only took seven days to get here from the UK. I had ordered the set lot of 17 colours so it was a big package and I really didn't know what I was going to do with 17 x 100gm balls of yarn at this stage (I did have a very large project in my basket at the time that did have a time limit on it as it was a gift)

 Anyway I laid out the colours in a range of different combinations, humming and hahing, this way that way until I decided with inspiration from here what I was going to do.

One night I just had to have a quick go of using the yarn...just to feel how it felt on the hook , how it looked crocheted, the density, the softness, the smoothness!!! Yes that's right I couldn't stop, yes I started a ripple, yes I have become obsessed, yes every spare minute I have is spent rippling...I know, I know I shouldn't have started.....Oh but I'm so glad I did!!

PS. pictures to come when I find the camera!!!!

Anny xx

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Today is the day!

Today I have the yearly appointment I dread the most but is also the most important.

Yes, it is Mammogram day. Please don't get me wrong I fully support this campaign and would never miss my appointment. My Mum passed away 15 years ago at the very young age of 57 due to Breast as you can see it is non-negotiable.

The actual process is not what bothers me it's the next ten days of anxious paranoia waiting for the results!
Wish me luck

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


I will always remember as a small girl watching my Mum knit. She seemed to do it so smoothly and effortlessly. I was desperate for her to teach me and struggled with the tight tension of an anxious learner. With practise I mastered garter and stocking stitch until when I  was about 10 years old I wanted to make my first jumper!! Mum took me to our local haberdashery shop and I chose a blue variegated Patons Totem. Luckily this local shop would store your required amount and you could come in and just buy a ball or two as you progressed (we certainly weren't a wealthy family and I now realise with five kids to raise this was certainly an extravagance that my Mum found the money for). I never did finish that jumper but knitting was something my mother and I shared for all the time we had together. Mittens, scarves and jumpers were constantly on my needles in my youth all becoming more complicated as I became more experienced. I can remember finishing Uni early on Fridays and meeting my Mum for lunch on her half day. First thing we would do is spend half an hour in the Wool shop under the building she was working in. Our passion for wool was shared and Dad was always complaining about our communal stash!

My first pattern book

A jumper I made for my brother

Oh how we loved knitting.....until a friends grandma taught me how to Crochet........................


Monday, 9 January 2012


Well I managed to publish my first post and include a photo woohoo!! I am slowly working my way through the intricacies of blogging. I love the liberty of late nights when on holidays!!
So a bit more info about me:
  • I'm currently on holidays as I am a teacher...10 days left until the start of term aaah (don't panic that date is for teachers)
  • I love craft. I originally trained as an Art teacher but over time I have moved into Special Ed so all kinds of craft satiates my creative urge
  • Crochet is my current obsession. I have two ripple blankets on the go at the moment (one for my sister's wedding present and the other 'just because'). I know other crafters will get that but unfortunately my family don't.
  • I was born and grew up in Sydney Australia but 10 years ago this week my hubby, 3 daughters and I moved to Brisbane....better lifestyle and more affordable place to live
 It's been a really hot day here today....fortunately we have a pool and have spent many hours in it today cooling off. We have switched the air con on for a few hours now which means I can sit back and enjoy a bit of crochet time....

I'm going to have to get used to taking more photos for this blog!!!


Friday, 6 January 2012


Hi and welcome to Rainbow of Life. I chose this name as to me the blogging world feels like many rainbows criss-crossing the world connecting people that would never have the chance to ever meet. Yet this is what we are doing daily, touching in on other peoples lives.

My name is Anny and I'm from Brisbane, Australia. My husband G and I have been married for 25 years this year. We have three daughters all living at home and my 'blonde boyfriend' Cooper our golden labrador.

Please join me on my journey into the blogging world.