Thursday, May 12, 2016

National Scrapbooking Month

I cannot wait to share the beautiful "Happy Times" paper pack with my customers tomorrow.  Today for the first time in what feels like forever I have had a day at home to just potter around.  Probably not as productive as I wanted it to be (housework shmousework!) but I did have such a lovely time playing with paper and I can't wait to see some of my Central Park photos on this layout.  I have just imported over 600 photos of New York so plan to share a small handful of those with you tomorrow but for now here is a sneak peek at pages from this month's workshop:

Ooh I do love that paper!
Happy Friday Folks!

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Oh weekend how I love thee!  We had such a great day today.  A sleep in. A cooked breakfast. A birthday lunch for my Father in Law at a lovely local winery followed by chocolate cake and coffee at home.  We fired up the Stanley Cooker for the first time ever and I am about to eat roast pork and roast potatoes followed by apple crumble.  I finished my test knit cardigan and I love it so much.  One of the joys of knitting means that you can make something to suit your body type so I added 5 rows onto the sleeves and have a cardigan that actually fits my long arms.  I used Bendigo Woollen Mills Milky Way which is part milk fibre and part wool and has a lovely stitch definition as well as being soft and snuggly. I can definitely recommend it.
 And now of course, just like that, the weekend is over and we hurtle into the hurly burly of last week of term.  Hope your weekend was happy!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Hooray! We had some good news on the weekend when we accepted an offer on the Nairne House.  Settlement is mid-May.  Whilst I have lots of lovely memories of this house and I will be sad to leave my garden it is a weight off our minds to sell and move on to where our heart now is.  Partly because of the good news, and partly because of the upcoming New York trip, we went and bought another camera! WHOOO HOOOOO!!! The battery is charging and so there will be blog posts with photos again from now on.  In fact, you might get a little over-blogged as I practice using it before NY.  I went Nikon again (because I am a loyalist, and I am still sentimental over my old Nikon) hopefully that means that it will be easy to get used to because the dials are still all the same!
Tonight is Night Owls/craft group so must dash as I am in the race to the finish line with a beautiful Kanti Mama cardigan test knit.  1 and a 1/4 sleeves to go before April 11th. Knit Nell, KNIT!!!
Happy Humpday to you all.
Keep smiling,

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Good days

Almost April? How did that happen?
I had so many good intentions to blog more regularly through February and March but then things got crazy at work, and the internet situation at home became ridiculous, and lack of camera still makes uploading photos to the blog a bit of a challenge.
Today, for the first time in a long time, I had a day off and thought "righto! Blog Update" and then found that the ipad cord has been "borrowed" at work and not put back in my bag so this will be mostly a photoless post with the exception of some dodgy phone photos.

There has been plenty of knitting going on.  A couple of test knits (including this hat ) which was just a crazy fun knit and so whimsical with the little fiddly bees! Lots of spinning and a bit of wool dyeing - oh that was interesting and requires its own blog post with accompanying photos sometime soon!

Not surprisingly, once the house was unpacked to "liveable" standards it kind of stayed that way so there are still boxes languishing in corners.  Once work got crazy and I was standing in for the directors gig everything sort of slid and now we need a good deep clean and a reset!

Easter was lovely.  A couple of days at the beach house, and then some time at home where we lit a fire and cosied up and read and knitted and spun and crafted to my heart's content.

One of my kindy kids brought in 9 baby bunnies on the day before Easter so of course one little fellow had to come home with me.  Ahh, Bunny Love.  He is so sweet, our fudgy boy, and is being spoilt rotten.

We have had numerous visits from "Mr Fluffy" as the kids have christened our resident koala.  He has a favourite spot in the tree right out the front.

Yesterday this happened to Maddie:
 My last little one to lose a tooth and what a shame because she has "one of the most perfect smiles" her dentist has ever seen.  Somehow they never seem quite so little once they get those big choppers and they lose their baby face :(
It happened at school in the Pines.  Everything worth happening happens in "the Pines" which just makes me smile because when I was in Primary School we had a patch of Pines at the back of the yard and it was where secrets happened, pacts were made and broken, first kisses were stolen, and all manner of mischief happened.  They bulldozed the Pines and made a running track when I was in about Grade 4 and the school never felt quite the same again.  I love that my children come home and tell me stories of what happened in the Pines.  I hope the school never decides to put in a running track! Anyhow, because Maddie literally "lost" her tooth in the Pines her teacher wrote a note to the tooth fairy explaining that Maddie really truly had lost her tooth and that she would go to bed thinking happy thoughts so that the tooth fairy could see the gap in her smile.  Mrs Mitchell has no idea how happy that note made me. She helped Maddie through what could have been a total meltdown and thanks to her kindness and thoughtfulness my little one went to bed smiling.  That is worth so much more than Naplan results or test scores.  Having a teacher that values relationships is gold!

Anyhow, now the day has been highjacked and it is time to pick up kidlets,
Hope the sun is shining on you,
Keep smiling,

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


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.