Saturday, December 29, 2007

wiped out

this is a pretty good indication of how we're all feeling at the moment. You know that flu I mentioned the other day, the one that one kid had, well, as is usually the way with these things, it is gradually working it's way through the entire family. This morning I woke up with a sore throat and have been unable to move for much of the day, and willow has been feverish, and fell asleep on our bed this afternoon, after it was decided that he definitely should not go in the pool, even though he was "very hot". It's rather hard explaining to children that they really should just lie still sometimes, I mean, if you're really hot, the best thing would be to go for a swim, right? I'm hoping that this will be one of those short-lived flus that does it's thing and then flies away, as willow so nicely puts it, because we generally refer to these things as "bugs". I don't imagine that it would be all that nice being in labour and being sick at the same time, would it?

Monday, December 24, 2007

christmas is making me crackers

yes, I'm still here, my little plan didn't work, and baby is still giving me a hard time on the inside! I think the reduced blood flow to my brain and all of the other stuff that's been going on around here (moving out of my shop, car breaking and requiring new starter motor three days before christmas, one child with nits and the other with the flu...need I go on?) have made me a little bit mental, and I have spent the past two days making and baking, because I've been feeling restless. Now I don't feel so much restless, more "ratshit". (For anyone unfamiliar with this terminology, it's australian for being very exhausted).
This is but a small sample of what I've been making, "vanilla kipel" (recipe from our local mag, the peninsula voice), and iced jumbles in different shapes, thanks to bill, only modified to use honey rather than golden syrup and omitting the mixed spice, because it's not very nice. Apart from this, there are chocolate spiders, a weird mix of fried noodles and chocolate, which sounds really funky, but is actually really yummy, I promise. Thanks to my aunty rose for that one. Rocky road, my first attempt, how does one stop the marshmallows from melting when you mix them into the melted chocolate? Coconut ice, also my first attempt, and I must say, a great success, and last but not least, fiona's chocolate balls. I did consider adding a bit of sherry to some, but I thought I'd better not, as I'd probably get the kids' ones and the adults ones mixed up in my current state of mind. Now, don't worry, all this stuff is not just for us, I plan to give a lot of it away as gifts tomorrow. It would probably take a year for us to get through all of it anyway, and seeing the amount of sweetened condensed milk (how did someone come up with that little gem?) and icing sugar that went into these little babies, I don't think I could manage too much of it on my own anyway. I'll sure give it a good crack, though.
So, I bid you all a very "sweet" christmas, because that seems to be the theme for us this year, and I hope santa is good to everyone.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

baby boom

i've finally completed these two slightly late baby gifts for friends who have both recently had baby girls (I'm getting a bit concerned that all the girl credits are being used up). I realise the one on the right looks a little more boy than girl, but I don't believe in pink for girls and blue for boys, and I know mum will love this fabric. These little packs contain a wrap made from a soft vintage cotton sheet , a muslin wrap with matching vintage border and of course, matching bunny. I came up with this idea when I bought an 8 pack of muslin wraps for my baby the other day, and it ocurred to me that we really didn't need 8, and that I had a couple of baby gifts to make. So, after deciding to jazz them up a bit, the rest just fell into place. I will probably have some of these in my etsy shop in the near future.
I'm now feeling very much like having this baby on the outside rather than the inside, the past two weeks have been particulalry uncomfortable and I'm feeling a bit "over it". Not that I don't love the fact that I am pregnant, and am not extremely grateful for having this wonderful thing going on inside me (I always feel very guilty if I complain about these things, because I know that some people don't have it so easy). It's just reached the point where everyday things that I usually take for granted have become difficult. I think you can see how "dull" I am feeling, by the expression! I have purposely avoided these kind of photos, because I cringe at how I look in them, but this will (maybe) be the last pregancy shot I post here, as I'm now 38 weeks, and as they keep saying, it could be any day now. I'm secretly planning to have the baby at the end of this week, and be home in time for christmas! Wouldn't that be nice?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

quick stuff

yesterday, when I should have been having a lie down, I made this sunglass case instead. It was one of those "I have a half-hour window, and I'd really like a new sunglass case, even though I never wear sunglasses" moments that I have frequently. About a year ago I bought one of those press-stud puncher things at vinnies, and it's taken me this long to get around to using it. It wasn't as fun as I had hoped , actually quite difficult to keep the things straight, but I got there in the end. I used the mushroom fabric that willow rejected, and it's lined with red and white polka dots. Much fun.
This is the combo he picked out for his "new and improved" christmas stocking, I didn't realise how christmassy it was until I finished it. He's happy with it, although he now wants to keep the purple one as a back up.
I just had a conversation with him that went something like this:
"mum, do we have any mangoes?"
"no, but you can eat that apricot that's in your lunchbox"
"but it's got a bum" (me thinking he said "bump")
"no, it's ok"
"are they born with bums?" (oh, now I know what he said)
"yes, they are"
"well I don't want to eat it with a bum"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

birthday quilt

i've been working on this quilt for my little sister for the past couple of months (on and off), and the time has finally come to give it to her. It's her 18th birthday on sunday, and as she's going to be away, staying in a resort up the coast (half her luck), I'm giving to her today. I'm really very happy with how this one's turned out, as it's only the second largish quilt I've ever made. It's nothing fancy, and I haven't bound the edges, but this is the way that I wanted it, nice and simple. Like me.
Now, I just hope that she likes it, which I'm sure she will. She's been asking me to make her a quilt for a couple of years now, not realising the actual amount of work involved, and I've been holding off for a special occasion, and here it is. Happy birthday, ana.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

the dog that thought she was a baby

i had a feeling this might happen, if I left it sitting there long enough. Don't worry, this is not the capsule that the baby will be travelling in, but the broken one that mr. arran scored off a chuck-out, which we salvaged the (very clean) lambswool liner from. I'll let sally have her little moment until this one goes on our own chuck-out...and then maybe I'd better introduce her to a more dog-friendly bed, although she'll still probably prefer the table or one of the chairs which she has also claimed as her own.This morning I had the good sense to drag the family out of the house before they had a chance to embark on any other pursuits, and go to this lovely spot near where we live. I had actually planned to walk to a little beach just around the point from here, but the tide was high, and my legs don't really feel like walking at the moment anyway, so we settled into the creek instead. The boys set about some serious dam building, in between tidal surges which sent willow scampering for that large rock he is eyeing off below.
Fin endured the flood and continued to work tirelessly on his construction, reminding both arran and I of similar experiences as kids. I can remember spending hours trying to construct a "swimming-hole" single-handedly on our very hot property in northern nsw, only to have it come crashing down in the next downpour that we had. Still, there was always that flicker of hope that I could actually make it work, and I would go back again and again and try, and I love that he is displaying these same characteristics of determination. It shows when he is doing one of his 1000 piece jigsaws too. Willow, on the other hand, is happy to drift around, obeying the odd order from his brother for "more wood", and collecting shells on his own. It's funny how different they are, and yet how close they are, and how completely I love them both. I can't wait to meet the next little personality, who will join us in about 4 weeks time! (that's if he/she waits that long)
p.s I guess there were no takers on the w stocking...I thought it was a bit of a long shot. Next time I'll try not to make it so limited!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

stocking up on stockings

since everyone else in this house has christmas stockings, I decided it was high time I made one for myself. This very yummy apple print stretch cord was obviously the perfect choice for an apple lover like myself, god knows I was never going to make anything more taxing out of this piece, not being one to enjoy stretch sewing. Also, being stretchy, one can fit more in the stocking. Good thinking, hey? Alas, when this little piece of goodness appeared on the mantle yesterday, mr. willow decided that his purple stocking was no longer appropriate, and he wanted the apples for himself. I must say, I kind of anticipated this, as his favourite colour is no longer purple as it was last year, but is now red, just like mamma. What can I say, he takes after me when it comes to being fickle. Needless to say, though, he's not getting the apples, but we have reached a compromise on red cord, but not with a sweet mushroom print I have, because no, mum, I don't like mushrooms. So, here's the thing,
I now have this equally yummy stocking up for grabs. This stocking , with freshly hand-stitched "w" on the front (I did that last night, didn't quite get around to it last year), is in brand new, pristine condition, and is looking for a new home. It is made from a beautiful, rich purple corduroy (also stretch), with a funky green and blue retro flowery cuff. So, if you have a "w" person in your life who you think might like this stocking, simply leave a comment below, and I'll have the little man draw a name out on sunday, so that I can post it to the winner before christmas. I know that this is a bit of an obscure little competition, but I'm sure there must be some waldos, wurzels, wilmas, wandas, or even wilberforces out there who need this little stocking in their life. Maybe even a pooch or catty? I look forward to hearing from all you lovely w people!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

christmas bunting

in a sudden burst of energy, I made this mini christmas bunting (well, actually, I was feeling so energetic that I made four lengths of it, there is some available in my shop and also on etsy). I have it hanging above the doorway (not on the wall, just couldn't get a decent photo in situ) and it makes me feel happy every time I walk underneath it. I think this may be my answer to mistletoe.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

hello, christmas

well, the tree is up, and we are officially in christamas mode. I was planning on waiting another week to get things underway (willow thought that santa was actually coming tonight, and I anticipate three very long weeks ahead of me), but since it has been a very rainy saturday, I decided to go ahead and do it today. We have a very stock-standard fake tree, which has been with us for quite a few years now. Before that, I tried all sorts of living trees, which inevitably ended up either dying or being planted in the garden when I decided I needed something different (please remember, I am a fickle creature). Since having kids, though, I seem to have become a lot more concerned about tradition, and kind of like the idea of having a "family" christmas tree, just like the one my great grandparents' had, albeit a quarter of the size; we had to bend the top over on theirs to fit it into the (high-ceilinged) living room.
There's something about christmas that lets you become less concerned about style, and allow all kinds of tackiness into your home. I look at our tree, and have to wonder when I decided that it was ok to introduce a fake plant into our home, and as for all of those things hanging off it, they wouldn't stand a chance under normal circumstances. But, that's not to say I don't love and cherish every one of them, and remember where they all came from, especially the ones that the kids are now contributing each year, and the ones I've inherited along the way. I think that's the thing that makes christmas time so special, for the rest of the year everything can become a bit random and fast-paced, but when that tree appears in the lounge room, and all of those little decorations start coming out of the box, you are immediately reminded that this is a time that you've celebrated every year, for all of your life, and no matter where you are, or what you're doing, it's always going to be special.
(is it still ok to use the word "random"? I cringe whenever I hear it used by some hip and happening young thing lately, but it is still a word, right?)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

and onto the next phase...

after much careful consideration, I have decided to close down the little shop. I really have given this a lot of thought, and up until recently, had planned to stay, but in light of some recent dodgy activity in the neighbourhood, and the fact that I am feeling pretty exhausted at the moment, it seems like the logical thing to do. I'm feeling a little sad about letting go of my little dream, but at least I now know that it's not impossible to make these things happen, and that I can certainly do it again in the future, (maybe next time I'll try not to fall pregnant!) I just want to take this opportunity to say thankyou to all the lovely people that I've met over the past year, for making this journey of mine more pleasant. I will still be working from home next year, selling on etsy and maybe even doing some local market stalls, and hazyjane products will still be available at jasmine greens and my messy room. The shop will be open until the week after christmas, so please drop in and say hi, and if you like you can add your name to my emailing list, so that I can keep you posted on what's new in hazyjane land next year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"mum, come and look at my machine"

muffin success

it seems that my luck is running at the moment, yesterday I made muffins and they rose! I have never made muffins which have risen...they usually turn out to be flat little chewy pieces of cardboard, and so I gave up making them. But, yesterday I decided to have another go, and success was had, at last. They are choc chip (maybe it was the fact that I used the last of my green and black's that made them so good), and the recipe is from "kid's baking".

Monday, November 26, 2007

new toy

I am very excited to introduce you to my new best friend...

I know that most people who have "real jobs" which involve them having to leave the house each day and do actual work on one these things would probably be laughing at my joy right now, but I am a fickle creature, who likes "little" things, and I am so darn excited by this new toy that arrived on my lap a couple of days ago. I no longer have to wait patiently for my turn on the big computer while mr. northernsky tells the world about his latest surfing or skating adventure, or while fin looks up how much star wars lego is going for on ebay at any given moment, or while willow yells at me that the computer isn't letting him win. No, I can just wander off into some quiet little corner with my cup of tea and blog away to my hearts' content. Ah, happy days! See, I told you I'd be back with something more positive, just as soon as it turned up.

Friday, November 23, 2007

10 things I dislike about pregnancy

1. cramping calf muscles...I don't remember ever having this happen in my previous pregnancies, but I swear it's one of the most scarily-painful things I've ever felt, and it makes me wish I'd kept doing yoga rather than being too lazy. I'll just hobble around all day now until the feeling comes back in my legs.
2. stomach muscle stitches from side-sleeping
3. going to the toilet no less than six times a night
4. being able to only have one (small) glass of wine instead of three (or four)
5. cramping calf muscles...oh, I already said that one. Still can't feel my legs.
6. having people ask me how long I have to go, and when I tell them, seeing the look of shock that it's not in two days time. One lovely lady declared that I must be "ready to pop" the other day, such a nice way to describe it.
7. dropping almost anything I try to pick up...lucky I don't have another baby in the house.
8. not being able to reach the floor to pick up dropped item...that's where my little helpers come in handy
9. having to sit down and have a little rest after only a brief exertion of energy, like doing the dishes
10. carrying around an extra 14kg (yes, that's right, I have a heavy placenta, it has an extra lobe) with me everywhere I makes my feet hurt

sorry for the negativity today, I've had a particularly uncomfortable night. I'll be back with some more positive stuff later.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

the hydrangea that refused to go

the hydrangea at the front of our house is really doing it's thing at the moment. Every year, it seems to get better and better, and I must admit that it is one of the only plants in our garden that I prune properly, at the correct time, so it doesn't grow too leggy, and for maximum blooms. It seems to be working. I get a great feeling of anticipation when I see those little buds appear, and I love to watch them grow (so quickly) into the amazing purple and blue heads that they become. I'm not into mucking around with the pH to change the colours, I like to just let them do their own thing and even though they are quite pale and not at all what "proper gardeners" would consider good colours, I love them in all their pastel glory. I especially like it when they take on a bit more of a rusty hue, and go all purple and brown, very vintage looking. I have the utmost respect for the particular plant that these flowers are picked from, it being the hydrangea bush that refused to die. When we decided to build our front verandah a few years ago, we reluctantly had to lose a few azaleas, and half of the most wonderful nandina forest that I have ever seen, and the hydrangea was also marked for demolition. We got my late dad on the job, because if there was anyone who would persist until the job was done, it was him, and persist he did, for about half a day, before admitting defeat. It seems that this hydrangea was destined to stay, and as it turned out, it frames the front steps beautifully, and we are so grateful now that it was unable to be removed. And, of course, it always makes me think of him when I look at it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

little oven

the other day, I had an urge to do some woodworking, so I made this... Willow, of course, wants to know why we can't actually cook things in there, and fin declared it "100% better than a bought one!"

Sunday, November 18, 2007

sunday at home

today was one of those gloriously warm days , not uncomfortably warm, but just right for dragging a chair out under the silky oak tree, bringing along my little case of sewing stuff, and spending some much-needed time outdoors, whilst the men of the house entertained themselves with skateboard ramp renovation and sandcastle construction. Well, that was until the little men realised that I was enjoying a little bit of time alone and decided to come and say hello and have a rummage through my thread tin. Can't say I blame them, really, it looks pretty yummy. I like the idea of taking otherwise "inside" jobs outdoors, it somehow makes them seem more pleasant in the warmer months, although I do enjoy (immensely) sewing by the fire in the winter, with a glass of merlot for company.
That large round orange thing that's taking up most of the photo would be my 33 week belly, very much out there, as it really has nowhere else to go on my 5'2" frame. And just in case you're wondering what that bit of white fluff is that you can just see poking out from under my feet, that's sally-mally, sneakily digging a hole underneath my chair.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

afternoon at the beach

and a good time was had by all

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


finally, after a busy weekend, farewelling some dear friends who are leaving us for sunny queensland, and having some other dear friends stay over, I had time today to take it a bit easy and spend some much needed time at home with my little companion. We even managed to do some baking, which I'm trying to get around to at least once a week now, the only problem being agreeing with said companion on what to bake. I had explicit instructions to make chocolate cake (we discussed it all the way to school and back when dropping off fin), but managed to divert his attention for long enough when we got home to go ahead and start on a carrot cake (I like to pretend that's a healthy alternative). By the time he realised what was going on, I had the carrots grated and the fun underway, and he was happy to join in with the mixing...and tasting. Not wanting to actually go out and buy the ingredients I didn't have (this was actually meant to be a carrot cake with pineapple and pecans), I decided to do a little improvising, so I thought I might share my recipe, since it turned out really good, although it appears that willow prefers raw cake mix to the cooked version. Oh well, you can't please everyone.
Carrot and Apple Cake
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
2 apples, peeled and grated
1/3 cup vege. oil (because that's all I had)
1/2 cup melted butter (that's the part that had me most concerned about whether improvising was such a great idea)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups caster sugar (not so healthy after all)
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
Combine oil, cooled butter, eggs, vanilla, carrot, apple and sugar in a large bowl. Sift in flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Stir until combined.
Pour mixture into prepared pan, ( I used a 15 x 27 cm loaf pan, which was perfect, but of course, being the naturally gifted cook that I am, I knew it would be), bake at 175 degrees c for about an hour. When cool, spread with cream cheese frosting. For this I used about 100g cream cheese, 1 cup icing sugar, the zest of half a lemon and a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

to halloween or not to halloween

I nearly wasn't going to write about halloween, because it just kind of came and went and I forgot about it, but after just having a look at soulemama's blog, I got all inspired, and remembered this funny photo that I took of the boys as we were leaving to go "ticka treating". They dressed up as vampires, obviously, although willow's effort was a little more bohemian than scary...he decided that it had to be that shirt for full effect. We do tend to do the halloween thing every year, because, let's face it, it's fun, and we like fun. I hear so many people grumbling about how it's american and how we should be celebrating our own traditions, and that's all good and well, but we celebrate christmas don't we, and I don't think it has a whole lot to do with religion. Fair enough, maybe it's about time we did start some of our own celebrations, something a little more kid-friendly than getting pissed and playing cricket on a 40 degree day, and I do agree that it's a shame that these things have become so commercialised, but I don't think that you need to buy into all that in order to participate. What's wrong with letting the kids get dressed up and having a bag of lollies on standby for the other kids that come knocking on the door? We ended up visiting about five of our neighbours and the kids came home with a handful of lollies, 20c and an apple each. And, the best part was, the first thing they ate was the apple, because it was a special halloween apple! The world is a serious enough place already, and any excuse for a little bit of fun and creativity (and a walk as well) is always welcome around here. Oh, but I do really think that there should be an age limit on this kind of activity, it's one thing having a cute 5 and 7 year old knocking on your door, but when you see a 14 year old girl in a pink fairy costume walking down the street, hurling abuse at her "friend" who's at the other end of street, well, that's a differnet story altogether.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

rest time

I've decided, now that I am 30 weeks pregnant, not to open the shop on wednesdays anymore. I feel that this is a good enough reason, as I am becoming oh so tired now, even just walking seems like an effort! The other main reason for this break is to spend some more time with this little guy, before he goes off and leaves me for big school next year.He is so torn between being a big boy and my baby at the moment. We've had lots of tears at pre-school drop-off time, some of which resulted in mamma tears at pre school last week. There's nothing like having a good cry in front of a whole bunch of strangers. Luckily, we go to a very warm and friendly pre-school, where the kids are all treated like one big family, and the teacher made me a cup of tea and looked after me. Still, I think I freaked the kids out a bit! It's funny how some people look at me like, "why are you working so hard, you're pregnant, remember?", and then others are completely oblivious to it, like the ones that come into my shop and say "I'll bring in my pants for you to fix". None of this "do you do alterations?" I guess that's what you get for having a sewing machine set up in your shop, people just assume that you're there to fix things. I used to be really weak, and couldn't say no to people, and as a result ended up doing some really annoying mending jobs, which nearly killed my machine. These days, I don't find it so hard to say no. It also helps having the phone number of local lady who does do alterations!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

the joys of pregnancy

finally, a shot of me pregnant that I feel is worthy of putting up here...probably something to do with the fact that it was taken on film by my talented husband, while we were on holidays. I'm about 29 weeks now, and feeeling and looking quite large, people look very surprised (and sympathetic) when I tell them how long I still have to go. However, everything is on track, and apparently "normal", and although I feel cumbersome, I don't necessarily feel huge. I think it's just that I'm normally so little, when people see me with this huge bowling-ball belly, they get quite alarmed!
I've had an anxious couple of days waiting to find out whether I had developed gestational diabetes, after my routine glucose tolerance test results were high. I had to go in for a further test yesterday, and thankfully, everything is ok. Of course, when presented with the possibility of having something wrong, straight to the books I go (because, lets face it, I don't look at them any other time), and I found out that having GD can create a "fat baby". Yes, that's exactly the term that they used. Now, I'm thinking that maybe there is a more appropriate way of saying that your baby may become overweight due to excess blood sugar, some way that doesn't conjure up images like this:

The thing that was worrying me most about having said "fat baby"was not the fact that it might be fat, but that it may make it necessary to have a caesarian, a thought that scares the hell out of me, having had two stress-free natural births so far. I really don't relish the thought of medical intervention in any way, having to be on a drip is bad enough. I'll never forget the male doctor who did a five minute appearance while I was in labour with willow asking me if I'd like some pethadine, and upon being told a flat answer of "no", asked me why I wouldn't want to save myself all that pain. Um, I think I'll be the judge of just how much pain I can endure before reaching for the drugs. Needless to say, the doctor disappeared, and the midwives did a fantastic job of delivering our little one with as little intervention as possible. God bless midwives. I just hope that I'm lucky enough to have it go so smoothly again this time around. (Please note, I am in no way against people having pain relief during labour, I realise that it's needed a lot of the time, I just haven't felt that I've needed it myself so far, but I'm open to the fact that all that could change). p.s. I made the holiday dress from an old sheet a couple of weeks ago, it also served well as my "anniversary dress", as I couldn't squeeze myself into my wedding dress for the occasion!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

ten years plus one

tomorrow is our first wedding anniversary, and since I plan to be busy doing nice things tomorrow, I'm writing this post now. It's funny celebrating our "first" anniversary, since we'd been together for a bit over ten years before that. We decided (well, actually, there wasn't any real planning involved) to do everything backwards. We had a baby, then bought a house, then a had another baby, and then a while later, we thought we'd get married. I did write about this happy event a year ago, but I feel like going back there again, as it remains the one of the most special days of my life, second only to the days when my children were born. We chose not to have a big wedding, it just wasn't "us". Instead, we gathered together our immediate family and two close friends (gave them a couple of weeks notice) and dragged them all up to a huge rock in the middle of the national park near where we live, one of the first places arran used to take me when we first met, and which has panoramic views over the whole area. It was the most perfect october day, sunshine, a gentle breeze and blue sky as far as you could see. We had a simple, no fuss, five minute ceremony and then cracked the champagne and spent the next two days celebrating with friends and family, none of whom we had told, and who were all blown away, as you can imagine. And here we are a year on, and so much has happened during that time. I have my own shop (sometimes I still can't quite get my head around that one), arran made his first surfboard, and I must say, just quietly, did a darn good job of it, which is quite a relief considering there are 25 blanks sitting in our shed just waiting to be turned into boards, as soon as the "shed transformation" is complete...but that is a story for another day. Our children continue to amaze and inspire us as they prepare for a new little soul to come and join them, fin especially has become quite the responsible young man, and is skateboarding like a pro...willow continues to entertain us. Of course, so much happens every year, but this year it has felt special, because our family feels complete (well, there's still room for one more), and I am married to the most wonderful man in the world.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

magazine love

is it just me, or is there a lot of eye candy around at the moment in the mags? I did a lot of poring over mags while I was away (also had to purchase the new inside out), and I must say, there was lots to look at, and be very envious of. Not that my home isn't yummy, and cosy, and interesting, but somehow other people's stuff always looks nicer, doesn't it. There's always that feeling of "oh, I could have done that, if only I'd thought of it". I'm imagining this kitchen in my church, when I purchase it, although I think those cupboards might need some doors, to stop little people unpacking them all the time. We had open shelving for a while, and let me just say, it inspired me to go and make our kitchen doors myself.
And then there's those yummy looking white rooms, where the owners insist there is no problem having kids (there are three boys, and a dad, living in the house in this picture). Right. I wouldn't let willow within ten feet of a white lounge. Still, I dream of one day painting all the walls white and having a white lounge. For now I'll stick to aubergine and snotty green, as willow likes to call it. Besides, I'll have a baby spewing on it soon as well.
I do feel inspired to declutter our house a little, and make it more summery and fresh, and less "cosy cottage filled with crap". I think being on holidays makes you realise that you can actually function quite well without all that stuff around you, in some ways it's actually liberating to just not have to look at it all for a while. I'm currently in the process of moving fin into his own room, because he's a big boy now, and I suddenly realised that the baby's room was just sitting there not being used, and the baby would probably not even end up using that room anyway, so fin's room it is. Stay tuned for updates.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

home again

we have returned from our north coast adventure, feeling refreshed and ready for some serious work that needs doing around here. We had a really relaxing week, with our live-in babysitters doing lots of fun stuff with the kids, including a trip to "timbertown", which apparently hasn't changed much since I went there about 30 years ago. I guess that's how it is with these "ye olde" themepark thingys. The boys came away with the obligatory matching t-shirts, which they are most impressed with, and we were treated to pa's "bullocky songs" cd in the evening. Hmmn. There were also lots of trips to the beach and fossil hunting (pa's a geologist), which didn't go down too badly either. Of course, I took full advantage and had a little lie down at every opportunity. Being on holidays does tend to make one very tired. Oh, and there was all that op-shopping as well.

We did manage to find a lovely new home while we were away, in a quaint little country town, which I knew was perfect as soon as we drove in and spotted the oppy, with a skate park right next to it. Happy times. So, we'll be moving here just as soon as I win lotto, or maybe someone out there has a spare $430 grand they'd like to give me? No, I thought not.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

north bound

we're off on holidays bright and early tomorrow morning...I'm sure the "bright and early" part won't be too difficult considering I'm wide awake by 6am these days, no need for alarm clocks. We're all very excited to be off on our north coast adventure, the boys have looked up skate parks on the net, seems like there's a good one at bonny hills (doesn't that place sound just bonny?), and I'm looking forward to scoping out some unchartered op shop territory. The car is packed, surfboard's on the roof, I have a good supply of aminals awaiting faces and also some yummy reading material in the way of the new real living and home beautiful (which is still coming in the post, thankyou), and the best part is, we're staying with arran's parents, so there is also child-minding to be had!! Oh joy! Don't worry, they're the good kind of inlaws, the easy-going kind who like to do stuff with the kids, otherwise I wouldn't be so overjoyed at the set up. So, I bid you farewell, fellow bloggos, and I'll be back soon with holiday tales to tell.

Monday, October 1, 2007

monday afternoon whip up

today has been one of those days. It all started at around 4am, with fin yelling out having had a nightmare, closely followed by willow wanting to play a game on the computer. Oh sure, would you like me to get up and turn that on for you darling? I don't know why that abrupt awakening was such a problem for me, it's not like I was really sleeping anyway...the baby is making sure that doesn't happen. So, after a long treacherous day, I finally decided the best thing to do would be to have a lie down and ignore everything for a while, so that's what I did, and when I arose, I suddenly decided that I need a new bag. My black leather one, even though I still love it, was feeling a little too serious for the warm weather we're now experiencing, and we're going on holiday next week (yay), so I whipped up this little denim number this afternoon. It's amazing how fast you can do something if you put your mind to it (and ignore whatever else is going on around you). Thankyou to mr.arran for the denim, three rolls off a chuckout, and if anyone has ever looked at my flickr page, you will notice that I have used a piece of my very favourite fabric for the pocket. Only a very small piece, mind you, I still have enough left for a couple of cushion panels.

shop update here

Thursday, September 27, 2007

do you wanna marry?

since all the flowers have come out this spring, I have been the happy recipient of these daily offerings from willow. They have been steadily arriving, one by one, usually accompanied by "do want to marry, mum?" It got even cuter the other day, when he came skipping in, singing"...said miss mummy will you marry me?" The sight of these flowers on my kitchen window sill every morning makes me a very happy mamma, and the sunshine isn't hurting either, somehow everyone seems happier when the sun is shining (or maybe it's just that school is finishing tomorrow). And willow, I would love to marry you, if I wasn't your mum, and I wasn't married to your dad, and maybe if you were a little bit older. Maybe you'll just have to settle for some nice girl at pre school for now.

shop update here

Monday, September 24, 2007

through the bathroom window

this is the view through the window of our "second" bathroom. Today it was all sunshiney and lovely, and as I was filling the tub to bath the dog, I just happened to notice how tall the rosemary had grown outside the window. Can you also spot the geranium peeking through there as well? It's a lemony-scented one, and after I bathed the dog, she went and rolled around in it and came out smelling delicious! It was better than the black sand that she usually rolls in after having a bath. We built this bathroom off the back of our laundry a few years ago, when we totally gutted our inside bathroom and redid it. We took this rather mammoth task on, doing all the work ourselves, in the middle of winter, and when willow was about a year old. Yeah, we're pretty sensible when it comes to stuff like that. There's nothing like having a bath outdoors in the middle of winter. The "bathroom" does have walls, made of corrugated iron, they just don't go all the way to floor or the roof. Still, I like to think on these times as character building, and I sure did endure a lot worse conditions when I was growing up. Needless to say, though, I don't really use the outside bathroom anymore, except to bath the dog, and the kids aren't really keen on it either, but it's great for those after the beach showers, and sometimes if we have people stay, they think it's kind of neat to have a bath out there. Eventually, I plan to make it a rule that all the boys have to go out there, and then my new, lovely inside bathroom can be kind of like my ensuite! Shh, I haven't told them that yet!

Saturday, September 22, 2007


hello, hello. Yes, I'm here now as well! I have finally decided to take the plunge and try out "blogger" for a while, and see how it goes. I feel a little like a fish out of water over here, as it's taking me a while to figure things out, but I'm getting there. Oh, and if you want to see any of my archives, you'll have to go over to my site, because I really don't have the energy to change all of that across at this stage. Sorry!