Saturday, February 6, 2016

Home Sweet Home

I was gently reminded by two friends today that my blog has been languishing of late.  It surprised me as I sometimes wonder if anyone is reading! It also made me realise that just because I don't have my good camera anymore I can still blog using the ipad.  So here are some photos of
"home" - we have been in for a fortnight now and it is already very livable.  There are still boxes of miscellaneous crap waiting to be unpacked in the shed but all of the creature comforts are in and it feels remarkably peaceful and settled.

I wondered if I might be sad to leave Nairne - we have wonderful memories there, but to be honest this just feels like home now.

Our mismatched hodge podge of furniture fits beautifully here.  My crafting and knick knacks fit here.  My reproduction wash basin and jug are at home on the window ledge in the bathroom. My blue jug collection rests comfortably on the kitchen windowsill.  At different times of the day this house is bathed in soft, golden light.  In the late afternoon and early morning surfaces seem to gently glow.
My chair on the front balcony - a place to sit and daydream, or knit, or even take a nap

From the front balcony

looking down the driveway

The pine tree from the back balcony - a family of grey kangaroos visits in hot weather

Graeber's farm - which I vicariously borrow as my own rural landscape.  Apparently the lambs like to gambol here in Spring.

Light streaming through the doors into our bedroom (forgive the spotty suitcase and clothes being unpacked!)

Stained glass fairy wrens (the real ones are out the back!)

This beautiful rose was a house warming gift from my friend Meredith.  The old box was found in the shed.

My rocking chair outside Dan's window

The deck - the privet reminds me of my Grandmother - they had privet along the house yard fence at the farm

The blue jug collection feeling right at home - they make me smile everytime I walk in the kitchen

Relaxing in the loungeroom with a nice glass of red and my favourite roses from Nairne ("Many Happy Returns" that my boy gave me for my birthday one year) They smell divine!



I feel so happy here. Content.
This is by no means the perfect house.  The bathrooms are a glorious late 80s apricot.  My friend visited and commented on the doorknobs all being adorned with roses - "I'd have to lose those" she said, but I am quite comfortable with embracing my inner nanna and like their olde world charm.  We have ceiling roses, and dormer windows, and french doors, and high ceilings with wooden beams.  It feels so right.

So indulge me if you will and take a walk around some of my current favourite spots.  I promise to show crafty finishes next blog post (and not to let it be so long between posts) but for now..welcome home..
The mantlepiece - my willow figurines have finally found a home.  I am looking forward to hanging Christmas stockings here!
Our front door bathed in afternoon light

Friday, January 1, 2016

Kick-my-butt-January

Sometimes I think I like to put pressure on myself.  We are right in the throes of packing and cleaning and it sucks.  Hubby is of the "chuck it in a box and worry about it later" school of packing whilst I like to be more considered and cull and sort and go gaga when I find one of Dan's impossibly small baby shoes tucked behind a box in the top cupboard.  Anyhow, I find myself packing up knitting projects and realising that I have WAY TOO MANY cardigan projects on the go so I need some incentive to finish them hence Kick-My-Butt-January (because I am sure I will need a break from packing and unpacking occasionally and if I have only these projects out then the rest can get packed surely?)  So the plan is to finish at least some of these in January:
The Tea Leaves Cardigan - up to the armpits at present I think
Maddie's school cardi (still needs the bottom 3 inches and the sleeves)
Practically (also up to the armpits but should be a quick knit from there?)
Winter Happy (just needs bottom band and sleeves)
Comfy Green Cardi (barely even started - only about 20 rows in on the back)
Stained glass baby cardi (this will have to wait until we've moved as I think I packed the book with the pattern)
Pink gifted cardi from Deb (this really just needs to be seamed up!)
All smaller projects can be put on hold excepting a test knit hat that I really couldn't say no to.

What about you? Want to join me to kick some butt in January?

Here's to a New Year!

Happy New Year.
Sir James was recovering from gastro so we postponed our barbecue with friends and had a quiet night in.  Hannah made tiramisu for dessert and we had barbecued lamb and salad.  After almost a fortnight without alcohol I had a big glass of shiraz and promptly fell asleep on the couch! I woke up in time to see the Family Fireworks on telly with the kids and then I knitted my Whimsy Cowl until just before midnight and had a bath and went to bed just after midnight.  It was a very middle-aged way to celebrate.

I am looking forward to 2016 with great anticipation.  This will be a year of new beginnings.  I already know that it promises the joy of a new home, and the joy of working part time.  I am looking forward to "getting the balance right" this year.  To spending more time at home. To saying no to some things so that I can prioritise others.
My New Years Resolution is not really a resolution. It is just a feeling that I want to live simply, to appreciate the little things, to appreciate and savour the ordinary, to not take a single day for granted.
That means more baking, and more cuddles with kiddos, and walks down the Summer track, and time spent at Bushland Park, and more bike riding on the Amy Gillet path, and more one on one time with my kids as the 6 year old becomes more and more fiesty, and the 9 and 11 year old hurtle towards those teen years at a rate that I am not ready for.

It means lots of relaxed and happy times with friends.  Hopefully it means a bit of crafting and gardening too.

Today was spent doing a little bit of everything I love - scrapping and knitting and hanging with the kids.  And as a commitment to the New Year I finally used the Madeleine tin I brought back from Paris and made Madeleines (which were every bit as good as real Parisian ones and so damn easy that I wondered why it took me 3 years to get around to it!)

May 2016 hold happiness for you, and may you grasp it with both hands.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Endings and Beginnings

Ah, those long, lazy days between Christmas and New Years that just seem to fall off the calendar.  I honestly think they are my favourite days of the year.  This year of course they are doing double duty as "packing days" and that is kind of fun and kind of painful.  They are also a welcome respite after Christmas with gastro - the gift that kept giving! Christmas was somewhat of a write off so I am especially appreciative of these slow crafty days to recuperate.

Unfortunately my camera is dead (dropping onto slate floors from a bar stool will do that I'm told)  I am trying to be brave but I adored that camera and I feel almost bereft without it.  The plan is to sell a heap of stuff we don't need and use the money towards a slightly smaller, newer model.  It will still be a nikon as I don't think I can do without the Nikon portrait feature.  The loss of the camera means that there won't be a lot of photos of us looking green and bilious opening presents LOL I do always complain about having to scrap 5 lots of Christmas photos so I suppose every cloud has a silver lining!

There has been plenty of crafting - I knit another fluffy little cardi Christmas afternoon, and then yesterday I did more on Hannah's red flannel mitts and Maddie's school cardigan.  There has also been some spinning as I try to get the stash under control before the move.  And I have dabbled with a bit of papercraft too.  Just throwing around ideas using January's SOM and our beautiful new Charlotte range which will be available January 1st.

Mealtimes have been erratic while we were all sick and now they are about to get unusual as I make an attempt to eat from the freezer and pantry.  The freezer seems to be full of chicken drumsticks and bits of mystery meat (possibly lamb backstraps?) and lots of frozen cherries.

I am feeling quite wierded out by the move - are we doing the right thing? Are we crazy? Will the house feel "right" once we move in?  Will there be things that drive us crazy about it?  Will I ever get over leaving my beautiful craft room (sob sob sniffle)?

The 3 times I have been there the peace I feel is overwhelming.  I hope that stays with us when we move.
Wishing you a wonderful start to 2016.
Keep smiling,
Nell49 WOODSIDE ROAD, Lobethal, SA 5241

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Ridiculously Happy About..

I honestly feel so blessed with my life right now.  After an extremely busy year at kindy we have 6 weeks of holidays stretching out before us!  So many good things are happening right now.  
It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas..
The Christmas tree is up and decorated. Briony's "B" is front and centre thanks to Kate from Fox's Lane.  It has been a great way for my children to remember their friend.  The kids did the bulk of the decorating this year which felt kind of strange as I like to take a moment to reflect as I put the special decorations up.

I decorated the front room for our Christmas workshops.  Some of these goodies will go to the Twilight Market at the Lobethal Lights this weekend.

The Nativity is conspicuously missing Baby Jesus this year.  I have tried explaining the significance of that short falling to my children LOL afterall, JESUS is the REASON for the SEASON.
So blessed to have so many lovely gifts over the years - we have a collection of snow globes, bears, angels, and reindeers!

I was showered with beautiful and generous words and gifts from my beloved kindy kids and their families.  It is making me so happy!

And there has been crafting this weekend - I even FINALLY managed to get this year's scrapbook pages into their rightful albums.  There has been lots of knitting too.  Some for the market and some for secret Christmas business.



I have been doing my first ever Indie Giftalong on Ravelry and I am loving it! So much inspiration in one place! I was even lucky enough to win a couple of prizes.  
So see, lots and lots and lots of great reasons to be ridiculously happy but I have saved the best for last.

We are moving..
We are having a "tree change" and moving onto acreage.  This country girl is moving back to the country.  We are just far enough out of Lobethal to be considered "rural" but still close enough to walk to school and work.  We have our own gumtrees, and fairy wrens, and a resident koala, and lead light doors, and a balcony with French Doors.  I am soooooooo ridiculously over the top happy about the move.  Let the packing begin!


Wishing you every reason to be ridiculously happy as we catapult into the "silly season"!
Keep smiling,
Nell

For the Love of Librarians

It's been a long time hasn't it?
Life got a bit crazy there for a while.  Too crazy.
Next year I am determined that will be different.  Next year I will find more balance.
I'll talk about next year and good things to come a bit later on but for the moment I just wanted to share something I've been mulling over here.

Last weekend the world lost someone fabulous. Someone inspirational.  Someone I was proud to have known.

I love books.  I love libraries.  Disappointingly though, sometimes librarians don't live up to my expectations.  Which is why Zellah was so amazing.  Zellah was like my own "personal" librarian.  She ran the Baby Bounce sessions at my local library when my kids were small.  First baby Hannah, then Dan, and finally Maddie fell under Zellah's spell.  Me, well we just kind of clicked from the start.  Zellah was the sort of librarian who really cared.  She had the same reading taste as I did and often when I would go in she would have a book she thought I might like put away for me.  Often when I was checking out a book she would say, "Oh! I want to read that one soon, tell me if it is a good one!"  She was the sort of librarian that didn't comment when I borrowed the same books over and over, or when I had to extend and re-extend my magazines because life had been too busy to read them.

I remember being heavily pregnant with Maddie and standing at the counter with books piled high in my arms while Hannah whined and a toddler Daniel threw himself on the ground and chucked a massive tantrum.  I remember feeling soooooo tired, and sooo frustrated and thinking I was going to cry and then Zellah's voice said "Just think Nell, next time I see you, you will have a sweet little baby bundle in your arms!"  and she smiled the sweetest smile and squeezed my arm, "you'll get through this, and one day you will look back and love these days."  She was so right.  So non-judgemental. She cared.

I remember borrowing "Tickle Tickle Tom" for the thousandth time and saying to her, "This book is our favourite and it is out of print so please if it ever gets decommisioned can we buy it?"  and her looking at it, and at my children, and saying, "gee, it really IS getting tatty isn't it? I think it is even too tatty to sell" as she stamped it with the "cancelled" stamp and passed it to my children.

Zellah was the sort of person the world needs more of.  She was not a best friend.  She was not even a close friend, but she touched our lives immeasurably and she will be forever missed.  Every life, no matter how brief, has the potential to change the world forever.

Thank you Zellah. My three little bookworms and I will not forget you.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Time for Meet me at Mike's taking stock again!
Making : card kits for my first "card buffet" on the weekend
Cooking : pork ribs and potato bake and our favourite beetroot and feta and pecan and sweetpotato salad
Drinking : apple cider (yay for Summer weather!)
Reading: "Delancey" (again) perfect holiday reading.  I love the way Molly Wizenberg writes.  Just finished "The Lie" which was well written but kind of moody and bare and depressing
Wanting: another week of holidays
Looking: at lovely things on ravelry
Playing: my favourites list on the ipod
Deciding: to make a conscious effort to do over 10 000 steps each day
Wishing: the 9 year old birthday boy would stop growing so fast
Enjoying: holidays with everyone home (what a luxury to have James home too!)
Waiting: for Mum and Dad to get back from cruising
Liking: Sleep ins, and lazy days
Wondering: If I could pay children to clean up the kitchen
Loving: my Spring garden - a 10 year old lilac bush that has just now decided to bloom!
Pondering: the next quilting project (now that Dr Seuss is finally done)
Considering: casting on another knitting project
Buying: groceries - we seem to eat such a lot with us all home!
Watching: The 3rd series of a Place to Call Home, Foyle's War reruns
Hoping: For a calm, stress free 4th term
Marvelling: that I am mother to a 9 year old boy - where did that chubby baby go?
Cringing: At the thought of NQS assessment and 55 summative reports this term
Needing: Sleep, home comforts, quiet days
Questioning:
Smelling: Lilac and lavender and jasmine and roses - oh sweet Spring smells
Wearing: my new favourite summer dress (made locally and super comfortable - LOVE IT)
Following: CTMH card ideas on Pinterest
Noticing: the washing piling up
Knowing: holidays can't last forever
Thinking: I have pretty great kids
Admiring: crafty people who can get paid to do what they love
Sorting: Maddie's old clothes, my old craft magazines
Getting: ridiculously over-excited at the vintage Strawberry Shortcake colouring books gifted to my kids - the very same one that I had when I was a girl - circa 1982!!!!)
Bookmarking: New recipes
Coveting: more Summer dresses and nice sandals
Disliking: that no matter how much I exercise I still don't lose weight
Opening: junk mail and cans of condensed milk and beetroot
Giggling: over silly facebook posts and the funny things Maddie says - that girl has way too much sass!
Feeling: happy, and nostalgic
Snacking: on pecan nuts
Helping: kids bake
Hearing: James rocking out with the guitar
Hope you are having an awesome week too. Back tomorrow with pictures of my boy and his birthday quilt and some of the photos of our recent Flinders trip.
Keep smiling,
Nell