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About :-)

Hi, welcome to my blog. I enjoy crochet, jewellery making, crafts and cooking (well, eating mostly), and I now have a Store where I sell hand-dyed yarn and other crafy things – please feel free to visit . . . just click on the link on the right hand column of this blog –>>>

After 17 years of working in offices, I had a baby and discovered a whole new world – housekeeping and homemaking – a world for which I was seriously underprepared for. At first I barely coped, but over time created routines and ideas to help keep the mess under control, and begin to enjoy life in a new way. You can find my cleaning and decluttering routines here: null

If you are looking for me on Ravelry, my name is Stramenda :-)

What is Stramenda?

Stramenda is the name given to my grandmother’s family. It means “vivacious”. They were the Stramendi, and my grandmother was the Stramenda. I dedicate this website, and have named my business after her, to honour and remember her life.

Vivacious and mischevious, with a vibrant, fun personality, Pierina was the most fun person I’ve ever known. She grew up in the Veneto region of Italy. Unfortunately she lost several boyfriends in the war, she eventually met and married Angelo and they had three children. At that time in Venice, times were tough and poverty was severe. She had three children under the age of 5 and her baby daughter Livia (my mother) was painfully skinny due to her being completely unable to drink any sort of milk. The doctors of the time recommended vitamins, but Pierina had no means to acquire any. She eventually left her mother, brothers and sisters to migrate with Angelo to Australia in 1950. The ship took 1 month to arrive. Sadly, her beloved mother died before she could ever see her again. In Australia, Pierina worked picking vegetables on farms, it was hot and dirty work, but my mother remembers her saying “at least I could buy you vitamins”.

Despite all the hardships, Pierina had a happy disposition and loved to sing along to the radio, getting up at 6am every morning to do her chores while she sang. I remember staying over at her house, and waking to the clinking sound of pots and crockery, the smell of breakfast, and her parrot calling out her name. The crisp clean sheets smelled of her favorite laundry detergent, the house was always clean, and the possessions simple. She always wore a perfectly ironed apron, and underneath she was always dressed nicely, her hair always done. She had a mischievous smile and an intelligent strong-willed personality, whilst at the same time having the ability to use it with tact (well, most of the time !!).

My grandfather was a very frugal man, but Pierina would save a little of her small budget every week, and every time it got to $100 she would secretly hand it to my mother and say “send it to the people who are hungry” – and my mother would direct it to the children of the third world countries. Pierina had a right perspective and a big heart.

Visiting my frail grandmother in an aged-care facility after knowing her as a very independent, active person changed my perspective about everything forever – we must live in the now because life passes quickly. It was very hard for me to see her like that, and I cried every time.


In this photo, Pierina was about 65 ! Some family members think I inherited her bright personality – aren’t they nice :-) . By the way, the little girl in the background is me.

Grandma passed away recently (late in July 2008) at age 89, even though we maintained a bedside vigil, she passed away quietly when no one was in the room. Freed from her frail body, she is now at peace with her husband, relatives and the Lord.

Someone once said that procrastination is the thief of time, but since time is what life is made up of, procrastination is therefore the thief of life, and what I have learned from my dear grandmother the most is to enjoy the simple things, and not waste any day.

To my husband, children, and my beloved mum, dad, sister and her family, I love you all dearly and appreciate everything about who you are. To all my extended family and friends, I may not see you often, but I acknowledge and appreciate you, every single one :)

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