Tuesday, December 21, 2010

this is the place for me

oh, how the time slips away from me at this time of year. Wasn't it just october? Amidst the normal chaos of christmas and birthdays and families and all that other stuff, we have been busy with something else. Something I still can't believe is really true and real, something I have been dreaming about all my life. Yes, really. We bought a farm. it's just a little farm, five acres to be exact, and not a real farm as fin pointed out, because it has no farm animals (yet!). But there are trees, a big paddock, a sometimes creek, and lots of adventures to be had on this farm of ours. Five acres of pure bliss.we're working on a shack...doing what we do best and scrounging materials. For now we're camping in the tent as often as we can get away. No phone, no power, just the birds to listen to. Life doesn't get much better than this. oh yes, this is the place for us.

Friday, November 12, 2010

everything old is new again

somewhere amongst the chaos of last week, I decided it was high time I updated my rather dated website. I was getting a bit tired of people saying "er, there's not a lot going on with your website", and me saying "yeah, I know, I have to do something about that"...so I did something. It's still not finished, but at least it's all shiny and new.
Some little friends found their way home from balmain, so they are gradually appearing in the shop. Just in time for christmas, me thinks.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

scissors down

I've been busy, busy for the past few weeks. It's balmain art and craft show time again, and the craft has been a flowing out of my little shed. I must admit, if I had started earlier and maybe enlisted some help with child minding then I probably would have got a lot more done, but organised I am not, and child minders are light on the ground around here so five minutes here and there is all I've managed. I think I did pretty well under the circumstances. Some new designs this year, these little houses are my favourite.
new cushions as well, with some very fun appliqued designs...I seriously wanted to keep these for myself. Ric rac rocks. mr. elephant has had a makeover, now in a one-size-fits-all model. He's in-between the old ones.
bunnies found some new faces, much more fun this way. I do so love the bunnies.
and of course, some bags. Large enough for a couple of books or mags, but not too big for everyday use. A long strap for wearing across the chest, I find them much more comfy this way. Bunting too, but we all know what a pain in the backside bunting is to photograph.
You may notice a lot of denim in this lot. I've had two big rolls of it stacked in the shed for about three years, we picked it up off a chuck-out somewhere (??!!) and I've never really gotten around to using a lot of it as it's really rather rigid. It has proven perfect for these bags, and also the appliqued cushions, as it holds it's shape really well. It's my new thing, and now I'm hoping it doesn't run out too soon!
I'll be back soon, with more tales to tell about what we're up to right now.
ps. a big thankyou to my kind and oh so patient mister for taking these pics, and um, dropping off these things in balmain for me...even after I had a minor meltdown because I was "frazzled" (only pathetic word I could come up with under the circumstances) after all that sewing and toddler wrangling, he remained calm and did these things for me. He deserves a medal that man.

Friday, September 17, 2010

oh, hello blog

look at that, another month went by. Well, it's more like six weeks isn't it, but who's counting. I've thought a lot about writing something here, but thinking is about as far as I got. My little friends have been keeping me busy, especially this one, who has developed a fondness for running. Away. Supermarkets are especially fun places to run through...the many obstacles making it all the more interesting. Another fun place to run is to school, to pick up the brothers...lots of gardens to visit and letter boxes to check along the way. I had forgotten about nearly three year olds and the things they do. Things like noticing that you are otherwise occupied and realising they suddenly need you. Right now for instance, he needs me to retrieve the combi that he just threw in the bin (because it was "broken"). How do they know that game? Very cunning.
People keep asking me if he goes to pre school, and I have to admit that I haven't even thought about it yet. I guess I would get more done, but then I would miss him and his crazy ways. I think for now we'll just keep playing the games, because I know that he'll be ten in the blink of an eye, and then the games become a little more involved.
I'm off to rescue an only slightly broken combi from the bin, and whatever else may be in there with it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

my first treasury!

I just received a lovely email from melanie of AmaniYaJuu to let me know that she featured me in her etsy tuesday treasury. My first one, I'm chuffed! Funnily enough, it was an apron that I made about four years ago for a customer who never came back for it, not even something new and exciting. I've relisted some things in my shop that didn't sell first time around, and this was one of them. Lots of little skirts and pants in there at the moment too!
Thanks AmaniYaJuu! (Check out this lovely shop for gorgeous african handmade quilts).

Monday, August 2, 2010

double digits

boy number one turned ten the other day. 10. My goodness. Although I find it hard to believe I've been a mum for ten years, there's no doubt that he's been with us for that long, and then some. He was an old soul from the start, and always a challenge. Fin is all about the "why not?" and "when can I?", and rarely lets go of something once he's latched onto it. But, what would life be without a challenge? I love this boy, in all his dark and mysterious ways, and he never ceases to amaze me with the things that rattle around in that brain of his.
10. What fun to be ten, the biggest concern being which wheels to buy for your scooter with your birthday money. I now find myself stepping precariously over allen keys and screw drivers rather than lego when I make his bed in the morning. Wondering, how does one get grease out of a mat? Not sure I'm even going to bother with that one, I think I have better things to do.
Happy birthday biggest boy, we love you lots.
p.s. yes, I know there are cobwebs on my chandelier, they add to the old world charm.

Friday, July 16, 2010

school holidays in pictures

I'm not going to pretend the school holidays have been one big picnic, but we did have some good adventures in the few brief moments of sunshine that we were graced with (and some in the gloom as well). Rainy school holidays? That's just not funny.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

we love you hope

on friday night, the mister and I went out on a date. We ventured into the big city to see hope sandoval and the warm inventions play at the enmore theatre, that most wonderful of venues where one doesn't have to feel guilty about sitting down for an entire gig, because that's what you're meant to do. Good for old folks like us.
I am so glad we went. I knew it would be good, but it totally surpassed my expectations. I was blown away and am totally in awe of her talent (not to mention gorgeousness!!). I now have an intense desire to learn to play the glockenspiel...we'll see how we go with that one. In the meantime, maybe I can just mooch around the house in a little black dress and knee-high boots, humming along to the cd. I'm sure the mister won't complain.
above picture is from this article...luckily on the night we went, everyone paid heed to the "no camera" warning. I know I took it very seriously!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

whilst mamma was busy in the garden today...

someone decided to help himself to a little snack. Because, you know, milo is good for growing boys.
oh look, I can just eat it straight from the tin, I don't even need to use my hands.

um, maybe just one more mouthful?

no, maybe not.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

back to business

cute blue one in the shop

loving this pocket

and this button

Thursday, June 24, 2010

today I...

made a calendar. Why would you be making a calendar halfway through the year I hear you asking, and quite rightly so. Well, the reason I am making a calendar halfway through the year is because I was too stupid to buy one at the start of the year, when other, more sensible folk get these things sorted and thus become organised and remember to do things. Not me. I am the sort of person who decides they will solely rely on the calendars they give out in frankie magazine, because they are cute and sweet. So what if you only get two months at a time. I will keep buying this sweet little mag because it's great and as we approach the end of the second month, I will just write down important upcoming events for the next month on little scraps of paper that will of course become lost amongst the plethora of little scraps of paper that decorate our home, so that those upcoming events will come upon us as more of a surprise. Ah yes, it is fun to live one's life this way, but what if one decides they don't want to buy the mag one month. What if they don't like the look of the girl on the cover, or they simply don't have nine bucks to drop on it, deciding they need some new hand cream instead? Well then that person is stuck either paying full price for a calendar that they will only use half of, or making one themselves. And yes, I know there are countless free calendar downloads out there, but I didn't like any of them. Not "hand-made" enough. So, for approximately two hours this afternoon I drew up a calendar, by hand. There were countless other things I could have been doing, like sewing things that people are waiting for, or finding out more about our new prime minister, but that would have been boring. And besides, I have a clever husband who reads newspapers rather than magazines, and he can fill me in on such important current affairs, whilst I am doing something else more interesting. And besides that, he was starting to get sick of only having two months at a time, with nowhere to write down important future skateboarding events, so I owed it to him.
So, now that I have made a calendar, I can cross it off my "I can just make that myself" list, and move on. The silly thing is (yes, I know, you thought that was the silly thing), I think I can remember making my own calendar when I was about nine years old, and feeling like I'd wasted my time then. You'd think I would have learnt my lesson. Let's see, that gives me about 27 years before I have to make another one.
ps. I haven't seen the latest frankie yet, and I'm sure the girl on the cover is just peachy, but I don't think I can buy it on principle. I mean, what would I do with the calendar?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

getting out of the nest

not too much happening around here right now. At this time of year I'm happy to just spend my days at home, puttering about the house, the smell of something yummy wafting from the oven and sweet sounds on the stereo (going to see them on friday night!!). Sure, I get a little stir crazy after a while, but we are lucky enough to live here, in the land of the sunshiney winter, and although it's raining again today, we've had a week of glorious sun filled clear winter days, just perfect for packing a picnic and heading off to the city like we did on sunday.
we went to the olympic park, which is a strange and interesting kind of place. The kids took full advantage of the bike tracks and the two biggest boys even managed to fit in a skate/scoot at the monster skate park. Picture a room full of metal ramps with 50 or so kids on scooters going all over the place, including upside down. I had to really concentrate just to keep track of where fin was (one must be watching at all times in order to be able to make appropriate comments later on).
Sometimes I forget how easy it is to get in the car and go. Leave the dirty dishes, the washing and the unmade beds, and just go. Get out in the sun and forget about it all. The housework will still be there later, and the same again tomorrow, so who cares? And, besides the obvious benefits of just being outside in the sun, kids will eat just about anything if it's at a picnic.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

a(nother) thrifty tale

I was struck by a moment of panic recently whilst driving down "the high street" (as our main street shall hereby be known thanks to my dear friend helen), when I noticed from the corner of my eye that the doors to my local vinnies were not open at a time of day when they most definitely should have been. In fact, the shop was quite empty, devoid of all its mysterious contents, and it
had quite the air of abandonment about it. Oh no, I thought to myself, could it be gone? Was the competition just too fierce (there are three other op shops in this town, which should give you some idea of the amount of crap that people have to offload around here). Upon closer inspection, I realised there was a little hand written sign taped to the door ... reno's in progress, back in three weeks. Phew. But, seriously, three weeks? What the heck were they going to do, put in turnstiles and door security?
So, for three weeks we waited patiently. It wasn't easy, but luckily, like I said, there are other places that one can go to in these parts. And then, as I was leaving the supermarket the other day, I noticed the magic doors were once again open and off we went, jasper and I, to see what we could find. Little did we know, but it was actually the grand re-opening day, and there was a bit of a frenzied atmosphere about the place. You see, the people were keen to see the fresh white paint, the new glass shelves in the windows, and the new racks full of clothes swapped from other vinnies. I wonder what happened to all of our tired old stuff...maybe it's in taree or some other far off destination.
So, we wandered, jasper and I. We wondered past all the shiny new stuff, thinking maybe there was a nice little vintage coat or even a dress just perfect for me waiting there. Wishful thinking. Poor jasper, I could see the disappointment on his face. We left the linen till last, didn't want to rush things.
just as we were about to leave, I cast one last look over the shelves. There were the usual suspects. The faded cotton kmart sheets so common at this time of year, having been cast aside in favour of their fluffy flanelette cousins. But there, on the bottom shelf, sat three baskets full of undisturbed linen, just waiting to be rummaged. That red and green sweet thing found it's way into my hands first, then the hand embroidered butterfly number which will be just the thing for my next garden party, and then, oh joy, three juicy yards of grey and yellow vintagey rayon. I see a new dress in my future after all.
And, as if that wasn't enough, a perfectly lovely tea cosy in just the right colours for keeping my tea warm on these chilly winter mornings.
Needless to say, we came home from our little adventure feeling quite pleased with ourselves, had a "coffee tea" (as jasper likes to call it), and remarked to one another how good life really is, especially with an op shop within walking distance of one's home.

Monday, June 7, 2010


it finally ocurred to me recently that: a) I have so much fabric in my shed that it's overwhelming and indeed sometimes stops me from being able to make rational decisions, b) there is in fact some fabric that doesn't appeal to me as much as it used to, which seems to throw a little cloud over my head when I go looking, and c) that there are probably some other crafty folk out there who would like to get their hands on some of what I have, and this would be a good way of sharing and also might add some much needed funds to my "buy a little farm" fund. So, in the spirit of offloading sharing, there are now fabric packs available in my shop from time to time. These packs consist of six large pieces of vintage goodness, which can be cut up for patchwork, etc. Whatever you like.
speaking of the shop, there has been a recent spate of sales...a small and somewhat short-lived spate, but a spate nonetheless. And, you know, that farm might take a while to save for in this manner, so I decided in the meantime I might just buy some shoes.
and fabric. And a new book. These things will definitely help me wile away the time.
the shoes are from oxygen, although I bought them here because they were much more helpful.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

jasper, please be careful...

when riding your scooter very fast around the house. There are obstacles.
(I've had to explain this bruise about 100 times this week. It keeps changing colour every day and each brilliant shade looks more gruesome than the last. I've seen some eggs in my time, but I think this one may just be the best one yet.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

birthdays are nice...

especially when they fall on mother's day. Ok, so it was nearly a week ago, but I feel that it's worth a mention, remembering of course that it's not only my birthday we're talking about here. Sharing your birthday with your husband is kind of cute, kind of quirky, kind of romantic and sweet, but the thing is, you need to remember that for the rest of your life you will share your birthday with someone else. Someone else who just happens to live with you, so there's no ignoring it. It will never be all about you. That's something you really want to be sure you're ok with when you get married. Lucky for me, I have a husband who believes in magic, and he does go out of his way to make me feel special, more than I deserve at times, I must admit. He spoiled me with new music and the funnest book I've seen in years. The chocolates weren't actually from him, but I found it quite pertinent to tell the world that I have a box of 48 ferrero rochers in my posession. I'm doing my best to share them. on a completely unrelated topic, a couple of items made their way into the shop today. A couple of things I found in the shed when I cleaned up recently.
Mental note: when you go to all the trouble of making an item, list it in your shop. It will be much easier for someone to buy it that way. Do not place it in a corner of your shed and pile fabric on top of it, for it is quite possible that you will forget that you ever made it, and thus it may never again see the light of day.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

life goes on (obviously)

so, I'm ok. I just got a comment from someone anonymous on that last post linking to a pets' memorial site, which admittedly brought a tear to my eye, but also made me think, "oh crap, I'd better write something on this blog so people don't think I'm still a blithering mess".
The days and weeks have moved on, and so have we. And the thing is, there's still sally mally pseudo-dog to keep us company. And the chooks. Now that little combination in itself provides endless entertainment. The chooks have realised that it is possible to instill fear by running straight at sally very fast, forcing her to run for cover while they scavenge what's left in her food bowl and drink water from her bucket. She meanwhile lays in waiting, recovering her shaken wits and as soon they have their backs to her, lunges at them with the intent of removing some tail feathers, only to have them turn around at the last minute and send her running again. Scary crazy fun.
Something that I hadn't really given much thought to previously was that sally was very much dominated by scully, only natural I guess. She went off her food for several days when he died, and I was thinking she was pining for him, but then I realised that she just took that long to realise that she could actually eat it all herself. He was a bit of a stand over man when it came to dinner. Now she's enjoying a generous helping, even saving a little bit for later safe in the knowledge it will still be there (unless the chooks are around). Generally she's becoming more dog-like, stepping up to the job of loyal companion and protector. I'm thinking maybe scully had a quiet word in her ear before he went. She's found her woof, and is using it freely to warn us of intruding lorikeets and magpies, and has also taken to sleeping under the house, which does wonders for her thick white fur. Very dog-like indeed.
The thing is, I'm so glad that we got sally when we did. I was worried at first that it was the wrong thing to do. Scully was getting old, and I thought she might just be an annoyance for him in his retirement, but he actually seemed happier when she was around. And the pain of losing him was so much easier to deal with after everyone realised that she was still here and she needed us too. It helped especially with the kids, teaching them that it's ok to be sad, but life does indeed go on. Needless to say, she's revelling in all this extra attention.
I will be back soon with less doggy tales and more crafty ones.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

farewell to the best dog in the world

we lost our oldest and dearest friend, scully, last friday. It's taken me this long to be able to even think about writing about it here, and even now the tears stream down my face as I sit here looking at these pictures and thinking of him. To tell the truth, I'm heartbroken.
scully came into my life in my twenty second year, around the same time that arran did. He came everywhere with us and usually managed to find some mischief of one kind or another along the way. His favourite kind of mischief was the kind that involved rolling around in whatever dead animal he could find, coming home with such a look of satisfaction on his sweet little face that I could hardly get angry with him. It was just what he did, worth the punishment of having to sleep outside rather than on the end of my bed.
Arran and I were having a long distance relationship in those days, me on the south coast, and him up here on the central coast, with about 4 hours travel between us. He'd visit on weekends, and the three of us would pile into his datsun 120Y and go on adventures, scully in the back with his head out the window all the way. He could smell a cow a mile off and would bark and yelp hysterically until we were well past them. I still don't know what he would have actually done if faced with a cow, but he seemed fairly confident from the safety of the car.
Arran would leave in the wee hours of monday morning, to head straight to work in sydney (an apprentice in those days, oh my, such a long time ago). Scully would chase him all the way out of town, and then run back home to me and sleep for the next four hours until it was time for me to go to work. Such dedication.
14 years. So many stories, so many pictures. I am so grateful to have had this dog in my life, and I miss him so much that it hurts. We all miss him, he was here to welcome all our boys into the world. He treated them with such patience and gentleness and taught them how to be kind and gentle in return.
Thankyou scully, for sharing your long life with us, it's been fun. We'll never forget you.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

oh hello autumn, you're here at last!

it's so nice when you're around.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

scenes from a fortnight

as usual, I must apologise for my extended absence. We've been busy, spending lots of time in the garden, making new friends.
enjoying yummies from jasmine greens. Gabby's grapes are the best.
wallpapering! Yes, my first attempt at wallpapering. We have this funny little "wall" which we built in our living room, which houses cd's on the other side and kind of creates a little corner for the telly, and it just needed "something" on the plain side. The other day it just came to me (I have my moments) that wallpaper would be just the thing. I bought this very nice piece from the lovley grevillea vintage (picked up a sweet piece of fabric while I was there too!). I knew nothing about wallpapering, but google's good for that. Let me just say, if this wall had been any bigger than 1m x 1m, we would not be talking about this right now. All's well that ends well, though, and I'm very happy with my new little flowery wall.
rippling. Ok, so it's still a little hot for crochet, but it is autumn, right? Loving this project.
and making lovelies for my new shop! I'm having lots of fun with these sweet little dresses, and aren't self-cover buttons just the funnest thing? If I had a little girl, this is just the sort of thing she would be wearing. (sigh).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

super boy

this boy turned seven last week. This boy who never ceases to entertain us with his random comments and funny antics. This boy who still loves to wear the clothes his mamma makes for him and who loves nothing better than to snuggle.
This boy "needed" nothing for his birthday, because he already has everything he needs right there in his sweet little head. I bought him a watch, because you know, he's a big boy now. He chooses to leave that watch on my bedside table so that I can use it. He was slightly more impressed with the keyboard grips I also bought him for his scooter (the only way to travel). Last night he declared that life is much better with keyboard grips.
At about 9pm on the eve of his birthday, it finally occurred to me that what he could really use was a new cape, so I made him one. He likes it. It seems to fly better than his old one. I had to pass judgement that the other morning as he flew past me on the little step into our back room. "Did it fly right up that time, mum?". "Um, yes".
Ah willow, don't change, stay just the way you are. Life is much better with you around.