Sunday, December 28, 2014

End of 2014

Hi peeps - possibly my last post of 2014!  Can you believe another year has flown by?

Well, this was my creative effort for today.  A yummy beetroot and pumpkin salad - I love the colour but it tasted good too!

I promise to be more blog present; there will be other changes too as I need to do more art, for the good of my soul if nothing else.  And because people keep asking how my art is going, and I'm embarrassed to keep replying "it's not".  Time for a change ...

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A ruse (roos) for writing!

I'm so sorry I haven't written for a while, but I've been in hiding ... from life.

Many things have happened, and I've found it hard to cope, so just had to shut down a few areas for a while as I tried to find my equilibrium again.  My 'stuff' is far from sorted, but I'm coming to terms with everything, and life is a little sweeter.

Mainly it's been about me realizing my role as a mum is changing as my older kids get ... older, and more independent, and more not needing mum.  At times it's felt as if my heart has been ripped out, but I' m gradually realizing life goes on, and just because some of my children aren't as needy it doesn't mean my life is over.  I just need to redefine it, and also be comforted that I still have Little Man for a wee while.  He told me the other day that I was the best mum ever, and boy did I need to hear that!  Such delicate egos we mothers have!

Other stuff has been to do with work and my lack of confidence in my ability to cope, but several weeks later I'm still here and still doing fine, and if I'm honest still enjoying what I do.

So, I'm taking it steady, being kind to myself, listening to my logical husband when my emotions get carried away, and do you know what, I think I'll be ok :)

The significance of the kangaroo pic?  I've had fun mucking about with a photo of a bag I have - just love the design.  When I went for my walk in the forest this evening, enjoying the cool air, I disturbed a couple of roos who bounced off to a safe distance, then stood like meerkat statues watching me walk on by.  I love sharing my walks with the wildlife :)  Time in the woods restores my soul!

Sunday, November 2, 2014


Just seeing if I can publish a post from my tablet as I've discovered I have an app widgety thing to do just that!  And I'll see if I can add a photo to give you a clue as to what is occupying me at the moment - it's a blast from the past!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blogtoberfest day 29 - Going Bananas!

Fused bananas - Little Man is fascinated by them - just had to take a pic :)
 Well, Blogtoberfest hasn't gone entirely to plan.  I'm afraid I got a bit lost in life, work and personal; nothing too horrendous but enough to make me sit back, take stock and be kind to my self by letting a few things slip if necessary.  If I've needed to go to sleep early I have.  If I needed to take a restful walk in the forest, I did just that.  And blogging is one of the things that has slipped, just for a little while.

I feel like I'm getting back on track, but I'm going to take things slowly and not beat myself up too much for not doing all those things or writing all those stories that I wanted to.  There's always another opportunity to tell my story, and for that I'm grateful.

The back-side, so to speak ...
So, be kind to yourself and take a rest if you need to, and don't feel guilty about it.  Just get back on track when you feel ready.

That's all for now folks ...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Blogtoberfest day 23 - Connection to the land

I met with some friends the other day and we had a good conversation round a coffee and cake.  A good old fashioned gathering, a circle of women.  No social media in sight!  We talked about education, the world today and came to the conclusion that what we are all missing out on is time in nature.  That we are really damaging our health by not connecting with the land.

This dog is highly dangerous - not - Cdawg keeping an eye on the old chook Roast - one of the others has just used him as an underpass!  I love my girls!
You know the happiest I've been for a while was a couple of weeks ago when I was up with my chooks, tending to their pen, having to wire up the fence and dig in the earth.  The chooks were watching with interest and p'kurking away happily.  I felt so content, hands in the mud, talking to feathered friends.  I realized I was missing my time in the outdoors.

If you feel a longing to be in touch with nature, there's a really good book (which incidentally is currently on my bedside table ..) called 'Last Child in the Woods' by Richard Louv.  He believes we suffer from nature deficit disorder, and you know what, I tend to agree.

Get yourself some chooks ... or an allotment.  Or just a walk in the woods.  But get out in nature!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Blogtoberfest day 20 - more thrift shop goodies!

More thrift shop shopping!  For the princely sum of $15 I got all this:

Some vintage - 1977, 1984 (and one not so vintage 1990's) dress-making patterns.

Earlier this week I found a belt I liked in an on-line store, and soon stopped liking it when I discovered it cost $159; I was much happier with the slouchy belt I found today for a couple of bucks!

I'm having a thing with my neighbour about retro pottery.  We are both constantly searching op shops to see what treasures abound, it's turning into a friendly competition to see who gets the best stuff first!  I particularly like Japanese pottery, so snapped up this lovely brown floral plate, and we need some bowls as everyone seems to enjoy breaking our current supply.  I remember 'kiln-craft' from when I was young and these lovely examples are ironstone ceramics made in Staffordshire, highly regarded for its pots!! 

Last but not least I found two great dresses.  The floral one obviously fulfils my 1970's mania, I love it for the pattern and the lace.  I'm thinking I will most likely make it into a maxi skirt, but as I haven't tried it on yet I don't know if I'll be able to wear it as is or not.  It does seem to be requiring some love and attention though as a few seams have popped stitches - nothing I can't handle.  The grey dress is lovely and lightweight, perfect for summer.  I will definitely be making this into a skirt, and look carefully you will see the Eiffel Tower - another of my passions!

Thrift shopping is such fun!  I LOVE IT!

And bonus - I caught up with a friend who gave me my birthday pressie from back in February - some beautiful 100% feltable yarn from a nearby Steiner school.  Just look at the colours - that green and red combo is just asking to be made into something for Christmas ...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blogtoberfest Day 18 and 19 - 2 days in one :)

Well, yesterday, day 18.  The day of the storm.  The day it sounded like our house fell down!  Lightning then the thunderclap within a nanosecond - youngest child breaking all land speed records to jump into mum's arms with fright.  Mum screaming in fright just before he did so.  Wow!  Our neighbour phoned just after the lightning struck to make sure we were all ok - she said it sounded like the thunder hit our house.  It didn't, but it sure made it's presence felt!

The favourite
Earlier in the day, youngest and I were rummaging in the dirt in our large container garden, hunting for potatoes, and were not too disappointed by the results, considering I'd forgotten to keep layering up the compost as the shoots grew taller.  We got a couple of decent sized spuds, plus lots of diddy baby ones, so we will get one meal out of them.  My wee man also enjoyed pulling out some baby beetroots - we had papa, mamma and baby beetroot, and the last of the carrots.  We'd grown them mainly for the bunny, but as Horrid Hilda is being particularly horrid at the moment we will keep these for ourselves :)  The youngest couldn't wait to get inside to wash all the veg and take stock of the veggie treasure.  We have vowed to grow tomatoes for the summer.  He doesn't actually like tomatoes, but does love the process of watching them grow and picking them when ready.  Anything that is more fun than the X-box is a winner in my book.

And today, day 19?  Slightly better weather, though the ground is so sodden the chooks left camp and escaped their pen to find drier ground higher up the yard.  Unfortunately, scratching right along the path where everyone walks their dogs, which meant we had to herd them back when their absence was noted.  Poor old Roast was left in the pen as she is a bit old and too arthritic to fly.  I thought she'd laid down and died from loneliness, but she was actually lying down with her wings spread out enjoying the only patch of sunlight to permeate the gloom.

As the wee man spent much of the day at his best mate's I took the opportunity to clear up the art supplies cupboard, and am secretly very proud of my decluttering.  I threw out 3 bags of rubbish and it's looking much neater and stuff doesn't fall out any more when you open the door :)  Next stop it's cleaning up my making space/studio that is in the rumpus room - I feel I'm clearing the way to start making art and craft for business purposes.

There you have it.  My weekend in a nutshell.  Quite productive really - what have you been up to?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Blogtoberfest Day 17 - I'm back! Blogtoberfest days 14, 15, 16 never to be ...

Here we are again.

I made a conscious decision not to blog back on Tuesday as it was late and I was tired and had nothing in particular to write about.  But then life got in the way, a few things happened and I just didn't have any time to write, though probably had lots to write about - although you wouldn't want to read it!

Today has been my first 'normal' day this last half of the week!  I've been sewing today with my crafty friends, and starting a new crochet project. I'm making a blanket with no real plan in mind, inspired by my new 'blog crush' Dottie Angel - in her world, everything is just 'peachy' and I love it!

Have you done anything peachy today?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Blogtoberfest Day 13 - Best Monday ever! Rose garden visit

It's the final day of the holidays, back to school tomorrow.  So, Little Man (who needs a new blog name!) asked if we could visit the rose gardens for a milkshake, feeding the fish and walking round the French garden en route.  As I sometimes despair at the amount of time my offspring spend attached to modern technology and now he wanted to spend time in nature, how could I refuse?

Our story in pics ...

Fish feeding ...

feeding frenzy
Tea shop ...

choosing what to have is a serious business
spot the bandicoot
 The French Garden ...

Going back to the car ...

A lovely way to end the holidays, having a trip out with my favourite people. xxxxx

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Blogtoberfest Day 11 and 12 - Cakes, cats and crafts ...

Two posts in one :)

You already know I love the splice skirt pattern by Jody Pearl at Sewing Outside the Lines.  Well, Jody also makes beautiful things and sells them from her blog.  I fell in love with her 'fragment' bags made from upcycled materials, and just had to have one.  I took it shopping yesterday.  It's lovely and 'firm', no flopping about here!  And it's just the right size for my phone and purse and little extras.  Plus it's one of a kind, and very beautifully made.  There are still some left if you'd like to take a look.  (Oh, and just try to resist that Kaffe Fassett ribbon!)

We were photo bombed ...
As for today ... well, I've been lucky enough to meet some awesome artists on the Kalamunda Open Studios tour.  From jewellery, to acrylic painting and pottery - I think I'm finding my painting mojo at long last.  I don't think I've painted for at least years, and as I may have said over the past few days or so, I've really missed painting.  But I need to find some inspiration.  Today was a very good start.

And I've tacked up a few hexagons - I stepped out of the hexagon swap as I've not been able to keep up with making hexies each month for my swap partners, and although I love making hexi items I need to free up some time to start painting again.  So, I'm going to make up a red and purple themed hexagon quilt with the hexies I've been collecting for the past 3 years, plus a few I've made myself.  Then I'll have fun designing a new quilt.

And I found time to make a chocolate cake!

Best Sunday ever?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Blogtoberfest Day 10 - Friday Favourites

A couple of my favourite things from today, things that made me smile :)

I've always loved red shoes.  These one have flowers.  A friend at work loves them.  My chooks tried to eat the flowers the other day.  They make me smile.

One always has room in one's suitcase for a jar of Marmite ... the usual jar we buy, packaged for the Australian market, next to a beautiful huge jar bought in a co-op shop on the Isle of Wight!  Wherever in the world it's bought, it's the most yummy thing ever!

What are some of your favourite things from today?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Blogtoberfest Day 9 - Tired!

Phew - I'm glad the weekend is approaching!  I'm getting tired, life is getting complicated - I want to run away into the sunset ... but before I do that, I'm researching some online art courses: Life Book 2015 and Jane Davenport's e-courses.  I miss my painting, want to start it up again and need some guidance.  These look like good places to start. 

Be better tomorrow - it's Friday! :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Blogtoberfest Day 8 - Op Shop Treasure Hunting

Sometimes I need cheering up, sometimes I'm lucky enough to be in the vicinity of an op shop (charity shop to my UK friends) and sometimes I get time in my lunch break to pop in and treasure hunt - yay! 

What did I find?

A 1967 pattern ... for 20 cents!

Does it count as vintage if it's from 1995?  Would make a nice summer dress for 2014.

Do you remember the 'Make it Easy' collection from the 1980's/early 90's?  Seeing these was a real blast from the past as I learned a lot about dress-making from using these.  Only the other day I was remembering how comfy a black polka dot top was that I made for work - using the pattern in the centre of the above pic.

A kilt - made at the Edinburgh Textile Co - in Scotland.  It came complete with kilt pin.  I'm going to shorten it slightly, then wait for next winter to wear it :)

And finally ... some cotton yarn to crochet doilies which I will use to embellish clothes, another 'vintage' pattern, a willow pattern cup - much beloved by me as we used to have a dinner set in this pattern when I was little, and a colourful paisley patterned robe which I intend to cut up to make a practise top from a very old pattern in my stash.

I love op shopping - it's like a trip down Memory Lane :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Blogtoberfest Day 7 - Inspiration in the forest

After a day at work, looking after friends' animals, feeding my own animals followed by household chores I almost felt too tired to write a post and certainly didn't know what to write about.   Help!

When I'd checked the chooks were in bed, I took Charlie Dog for a walk in the forest, the path lit by an almost full moon and my dodgy wind-up torch.  We could hear bagpipes being played in the distance (honestly!) which added a strangely pleasant ambience.  I started thinking about my day and questioning what I could possibly write about as it had been 'just another day'.  So I started looking for tiny moments for inspiration - and remembered looking through my desk calendar at work as I ripped off each day already spent.  With these calendars there is a daily quote and I like to read them in case there's one or two that resonate with me - and I remembered the one that caught my eye, and as it happens stayed in my mind:

"One can never consent to creep, when one feels an impulse to soar." - Helen Keller

I don't know what stood out for me with this one, was it the rebellious nature of not doing what you're expected to do, or the concept of soaring?  I guess that's something else for me to think about ...

Forest walks always inspire me in some way ... do you have a place you go for inspiration?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Blogtoberfest Day 6 - Thinking about ...

I am writing this whilst waiting for raspberry muffins to cook :)

What is it that I'm thinking about?  Christmas!  Yes indeed, it's less than 3 months until the big day, not much time for making gifts to send overseas, so of course that is what I am starting to do.

In the above pictured jar is a present I've been making for a friend for approximately a year :(  It's been so long since I worked on it I can't remember where I am in the pattern; but luckily I found a little diary in the jar as well with rows marked off on two pages - I just had to work out which piece was which because of course I hadn't been sensible enough to label pieces.  Doh!  But I think I'm all set to go now.  At least I know my schedule for the next couple of months - panic, knit, panic, crochet, stress, finish just in time.  Lots of fun - really!

The even funnier thing is, I do the same every year.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Blogtoberfest Day 5 - counting my blessings ...

I've left it a bit late again, but at least it's still day 5.  I was wondering what to write about today as my plans to do the 'Walk the Zig-Zag' were scuppered by the terrible weather.  Rain, rain and more rain accompanied by serious squalls!  As I was getting ready for bed I thought I could list 3 things that I am grateful for today.  And here they are:

I am grateful that our chooks run is 80% done now.  At least they have somewhere to roam whilst I get the back fence made (I am going to be so skilled in fence-making by the time this is all completed!)  I don't want any repeat of yesterday's chickens versus dog/motorbike fiasco...

I am grateful that I sat with number 1 son and watched 'Silver Lining's Playbook' - it's such a good story, and we were able to discuss the differences between book and film together as we've both read the novel.

I am grateful that my hubby cooked dinner (and made 3 huge pot-fulls of stew so we can eat it again in the week!) whilst I looked after our menagerie of animals.

It's made me feel blessed all over again looking at the good things that have happened.  What are you grateful for today?  Little things count too :)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Blogtoberfest Day 4 - An exciting day part 2

Here's a clue to why the day got more exciting ...

and here are 2 clues ...

We have chickens!!!!!  For me that is terribly exciting, one more step to living more healthily and sustainably.  I will drag the family kicking and screaming behind me if I have to.

We spent yesterday making a gate and putting gateposts in, and today making a run for the chookies.  Tomorrow I will get a picture of them.

I did let them run all over the back garden today, because I do want the girls to be as free range as possible.  Unfortunately, they want to be really free range, and made a beeline for the forest behind the house.  I ran off to get a food bowl filled with pellets to lure them back to the garden, by which time a jogger turned up with her dog not on a lead - where did she come from?  The chooks had heard the food and moved towards me, which alerted the dog, who chased the chickens.  Aargh!   I could see myself not getting any more eggs at this rate ... just as my heart was making its way into my throat, a motorbike appeared out of nowhere, which frightened the dog away, who'd frightened the chickens back into the garden.  I read somewhere that keeping pets is a good way of relaxing.  Whoever said that was lying :)

Still, can't wait to go looking for eggs again tomorrow ...

Forgotten Blogtoberfest Day 3 - An exciting day, part 1!

Can't believe I forgot to blog yesterday so early in the game!  Actually, I did remember when I'd got into bed, but I was so toasty and warm I made the decision to stay put and do the blogging today.  Yesterday was a pretty big day so I'd wanted to do the post in two parts, and still intend to.

I woke up yesterday with a mission in mind.  You see, I'd bought this drum nearly 2 years ago, but for one reason or another we both had trouble getting our acts together, and I was only able to get the drum yesterday as Helen had brought it over with her on a visit to the west.  Isn't it amazing?  Helen Wells is the very talented artist - google her for other beautiful works to admire.  I'd asked for a purple dragon, but could never have imagined how stunning it would turn out.

My journey involved travelling to Mount Lawley, a suburb a stone's throw away from the city.  I don't know if I've said before, but I have  been very anxious about driving for quite some time and could only make the journey between the Hills and our nearest town (about 12 km's away), so you can see how a journey nearly to the city would be a stretch for me.  But I had a reason, I've had lots of practise over the past couple of years after working on my nerves, and I found some items of interest whilst wandering up and down Beaufort street looking for our rendezvous point!  It was an adventure instead of a trial :)

Some yarn bombing going on ... knitting

and knitting with crocheted butterflies ... no more boring cycle racks for this city ...

a beautiful splash of colour ...

... I really liked this poster plastered on a derelict building because it kind of reminds me of the Cheshire Cat, but for all I know it could have druggy connotations, judging by the abundance of mushrooms ...

... a real cat enjoying the sun and having his photo taken.

A good day, which only got better, as you will discover!  :)  Well, for me anyway! xx

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Blogtoberfest day 2 - My first photo collage

What is happening to the weather???  Too dimpsy yet again today to take photos of my lovely quilt - may be able to do it tomorrow as it's my day off, but I also have other things planned for my Friday so there will be other stories to share.

So I went outside into the garden to visit grumpy bunny and noticed how gorgeous the peach blossoms are looking.  The flowers are stunning, it's just a shame the same can't be said for the fruit - we discovered for ourselves that the trees are ornamental.  The fruit smelled divine, mouthwatering - but made us reach for the mouthwash after tasting!  Never mind, at least we have a beautiful display to enjoy each spring, and the smell of peaches is very pleasant ...

And ... I surprised myself with my first photo collage.  A few people have raved about PicMonkey and how easy it is to use.  I can now vouch for it's ease of use, even for photo-techno-challenged people like myself  - it would appear even I can make a collage.  Hurrah for PicMonkey!  You won't be able to stop me now :)