Wednesday, 20 December 2006


"My name is 'Felicity' but I'm also known as 'Bliss'. I got my nickname because 'Felicity' means 'happiness' and 'Bliss' means 'extreme happiness'. I think that 'Blissful' is a perfect 'hook' for this website. Aged in my mid forties, I lead a busy and interesting life in Brisbane, Australia, surrounded by people I love and who love me."

So starts the homepage of my series of 'Blissful' web pages. Whereas a month or so ago I was wishing I had named this blog something completely different, it's days like the last four which make me realise that I didn't make a mistake. I really do live a blissful life.

I've added this entry to both my Daily Bliss & my Blissful Creations blogs because the subject applies in both areas. I'm not a scrapbooker nor do I have intentions of becoming one. The photographs not framed and on my house walls are mostly stored in cheap sticky albums or, as the albums fall apart, in cardboard boxes. I have more than enough stash associated with photography and cross stitch as it is. I don't think I could handle more! LOL.

By the way, it wasn't Christmas that brought me to the forementioned 'blissful' realisation. It was the reorganisation and tidying of Castle Bliss (our sometimes housenotsobeautiful home) for the festival of Christmas. Yup. You guessed it. I've been doing one of those 'thorough' cleans - the ones where you get into every nook and cranny looking for dust & clutter. I found plenty of both - who doesn't? - but, more importantly, I found TREASURE!

It started innocently enough with the hanging of the cross stitch projects mentioned in a recent blog & progressed rather rapidly because Paul’s and my wedding photographs arrived in the post ready to be framed and hung.

When I lived in Townsville from 1992 to 2002, I had a gallery of pictures (mostly happy snap photographs) telling our family’s story on the hallway wall. My then husband, William, & I had moved around Queensland for more than 12 years and this was to be our permanent home (as permanent as one could get in those days). I started the project as therapy during some of my darkest days after Will left me and my mother died (events that happened within months of each other). I missed my family far away and was often alone with small fry. It helped me a lot but the best things the gallery did were: 1. Make Will’s and my faraway families ‘real’ to the children at a time when travel and phone calls were unaffordable; 2. Serve as a reminder to the children of who my parents were after they died & 3. Give the children incentive to create something for the wall – art, collage, stitching. I never had a problem with kids and crayon marks on walls where they shouldn’t be. They were too busy creating legitimate art!

The timeline of pictures started with an engagement photo taken in 1979 of me and Will, and then progressed with family weddings, births, first communions, the occasional Christmas pic or family gathering & year 12 formals in the frame. Every few years, the kids and I added (or replaced) a family Pixifoto portrait (always with William), and constantly added pieces of children’s art work or embroidery. The gallery swelled – as did Will’s and my sisters’ pregnant bellies and therefore family numbers. We included as many people as we could. A memorable pic was my sister-in-law, Bettyann, already heavily pregnant but looking more so as her hubby had tucked a soccerball under her tshirt at a picnic when our boys were 5 years old – it made every 15+ year old girl who saw it cross her legs unconsciously. LOL

To cut a long story short, I left the gallery intact when I moved away from Townsville in 2002. Put simply, as it was a temporary move I moved out & William moved back in as caretaker until I came back. After I met Paul and decided to move to Brisbane with him instead of back to Townsville, Will bought the house from me & I dismantled and stored everything in boxes for a number of years.

On Friday last week (nearly 5 years after I left Townsville), everything was pulled out and scattered over the floor so that I could work out what to keep, what to put in the now grown up off-springs’ treasure boxes and what to return to William for his memories. My theory is that doing sort of thing can only be done if you do it all at once, so I pulled out ALL the photographs, ALL the children's handmade birthday & Mother’s Day Cards, ALL the school report cards, certificates and concert brochures amassed during the last 25 years. Oi!

It was fun! In the last four days, I have looked at my 4 children snapped over many years (individually, together or with other family &/or friends) & and the thing I notice most is that, despite the calamities that befell me from time to time, for the most part, they were very happy & healthy kiddies/teens interested in many & varied activities (school, extended family life, music, travel, sport, dance, finger painting, etc). To top it off, the photographs taken recently show them to be successful, generous and well-adjusted young adults who hold family life in caring hands & with warm hearts. I now understand the comment that one of them made a few weeks ago during a family gathering about making sure that there was a picture for the album & why Gabriella always tucks my camera into my handbag as we head to visit any family even when it’s a simple meal at someone’s house or at the local Italian restaurant.

Life’s good here. Sssmile!.

Happiness & laughter to one and all,



stitcherw said...

What wonderful treasure to uncover and enjoy, and what great memories, pictures, and such you have shared with your children. Sometimes it is to easy to overlook what is really important.

Cindy said...

Going through old photos and things can bring such joy to the heart. I am so glad that it was fun for you and your relived so many wonderful memories! You are very Blessed indeed and it is no wonderful you are so Blissful!

Stitch or no stitch said...

It was so wonderful reading your latest blog update. Your great writing style let me be right there to share. What would we do without the photographs of our life? It must have been so nice to let them all pass the review.
You can't be serious about getting rid of so much of your stash. My friend Brenda & I have discovered a great idea at a local frame shop. The owner uses one wall to display stitching pieces which are relevant to that time of the year. We're thinking at least of a Halloween and a Christmas display.
Have a wonderful Christmas with all your loved ones and of course a great New Year. I'm trying to get some stitching done on Frederick before 2007 as I'm way behind both you and Maria.

Carto said...

Hey there - what an uplifting post. Your nickname is very apt me dear - Have a lovely Christmas xxx

Meari said...

What a touching post. I've chronicled my family's life as well. Photos bring back so many memories, don't they? :)

Name: Vicki said...

Gabriella is very smart. My 18-year-old son was killed in an auto accident last year. With 2 teenagers and teaching, I had gotten lazy about taking pictures. I didn't have very many good pictures of Glenn right before he died. I have oodles of him at all the other ages, but only a few of him at 18.I cherish those pictures of him, but wish I had more recent pictures. Now I try to take as many pictures as I can of family and friends!

BlissxStitches said...

Oh Vicki, my heart goes out to you! Cherish the photos you have & draw comfort from knowing that you loved him dearly. Hugs!