Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fireman Dan and a bit of crafting

Today Dan and I went to the Metropolitan Fire Station for his kindy excursion.  I think the look on his face says it all.  Lovely to have this day with just my boy (and the upside has been the snuggles and cuddles I have had since we have been home; he even said to me "Mummy, you are just my treasure" - heart melting)

Life has been busy (even busier than usual LOL) here so not a whole heap of crafty stuff happening.  There has been this school hat for Hannah.  The pattern is from Ann Budd's "Knitted Gifts" book.  I am a bit disappointed that the cable just kind of disappears in the mottled wool.  The wool is pre-dyed Romney tops that I have spun up into a thickish 8 ply.  After the hat there are matching mittens and a scarf (which I will have to make up to match as the pattern is only for a hat and mittens!)

Hannah has also been invited to a spate of birthday parties lately so I made these to go with a little gift.  Quick and easy - 15 minutes in front of the telly and I think they are kind of fun.

I did manage to finish 3 quilt tops on the long weekend so I've also been busy organising backing and binding for them so that I can send them down to Emma for quilting!
Happy Friday!
Keep smiling,

Friday, June 10, 2011

Toy Society

These two little folk are off to Brisbane as part of the Toy Society Drop.  Sad but true story: their bodies were knitted at least a decade ago and moved interstate with us in a zip lock bag.  In fact, when I thought about it, I don't remember ever knitting these dolls with my husband around (so I think they may have been knit pre 1995 LOL)  When I was in highschool and first year uni I knitted HUNDREDS of these dolls.  They were mostly commissions for friends and family and also sold through a craft shop (and I am also sad to say that as a nieve teenager I had no idea about the copyright issue - although I think Jean Greenhowe patterns have been around so long that you are allowed to sell limited numbers? ) Certainly I have seen many of them at fetes and fairs and op shops over the years!

Anyway, I think I knitted so many of them that I just kind of burnt myself out and lost interest! I am very glad that these two have finally made it out of the UFO pile and will hopefully find a good home.  They have already passed the cuddle and squeeze test conducted by a very excited small boy who has named them "John" and "Londa".  The same small boy WILL be posting them this afternoon and I am keeping fingers crossed that he doesn't ask for his own set of them LOL

On a totally unrelated topic, I have thoroughly enjoyed the guest blog series on "mothering" over at Some seriously beautiful writing.  I've been thinking about mothering a lot lately as my dear sis takes her first steps into the mothering jungle, as a beautiful friend undertakes a second precarious pregnancy, as my extended family (in Queensland) celebrate milestones and special days without me, and as my own little family close the chapter on "babyhood" forever and I move into mindfully mothering a toddler, a preschooler, and a tween.  I don't think any mother can ever get it right all of the time.  At my best I am an above average mother - I feel this way in the midst of sleepovers, successful birthday cakes, time spent at the park, and days when they find something special and handmade on their bed as a surprise or something hot and home-made for afternoon tea.  At my worst I wonder whether I should ever have been a mother at all - I look at the crumbs and the piles of laundry and I hear the cross, exasperated, frustrated words hurled out of my mouth and I cringe.  Most days we are a happy compromise, somewhere between the two extremes.  It is a tough gig, but also one of the most rewarding.
Happy Friday to all Mothers!
keep smiling,

Monday, June 6, 2011

More than one way to chase the Winter Blues...

You might be forgiven for thinking that I like shoe shopping, and red...
I do really love red but I hate shoe shopping.  The thought of buying 3 pairs of shoes in one day is ludicrous, but they were so cheap, and so cheerful, and I might actually feel like feeding the chooks in the muddy chookpen in those red wellies!

Something else making me happy right now is that tomorrow is Tuesday and I get to pick up the Melly and Me "Sewn Toy Tales" book from the Patchwork Apple.  I am hoping to whip up some softies from it for my friend Catherine as she has been doing Toy Society drops in the areas of Brisbane most affected by the floods. 

There are also two little knitted softies that have been UFOs for far too long and a few doll bodies that just need faces and clothes so I really should commit to finishing those before I start anything new LOL

If you like making softies and want to get involved I am happy to post your toys up to Catherine!

Now it is time to set the kitchen timer and declutter, purge and otherwise tidy this messy house!
Happy Monday,

Thursday, June 2, 2011

And now my Princess is 7

7 years ago they placed this little bundle into my arms.

Before I knew it the cheeky, chubby baby was walking. Then that baby became one of the most stubborn, delightful, chatty toddlers I have ever known.
She NEVER stopped talking and always wanted to know WHY?
She brought more joy and laughter to our lives than I had ever imagined possible.  She lived in a fairytale world all of her own.
She really DOES have a princess complex.  We have enjoyed watching her grow and change.  She is helpful, happy, imaginative and creative.  Today she is seven.  I have enjoyed the journey with her so much and I adore the little person she is becoming.  Love you, my baby bear, my Princess Hannah!  Happy Birthday sweet girl!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Learning to Live In the Moment

I am learning from my friend.  I am learning (slowly) to live in the moment more.  To recognise and make time for what is important.  To strategically quit things that aren't.
Monday: A sewing day.  Four Kindy Space Suits mended.  One dress converted to a skirt for Maddie.  One pair of pants mended. One small girls nightie started. Two sewn through fingers and a black eye...

Maddie had a run in with Jazz and the sliding door (it does look worse than it is - it didn't slow her down for a minute!)
I managed to sew right through 2 fingers (2 separate incidents) on the sewing machine.  Do not try this at home.  After the second time (when the needle broke in spectacular style and blood poured forth and poor Nic was required to extricate bits of broken needle from my finger) Nic (not surprisingly) unplugged my sewing machine.
I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in the sunshine in Nic's warm lounge room by the glow of the wood fire, with my children coming over for regular snuggles while I knitted, drank great coffee (Nic has real beans and real froth and it is just another small reason why I love visiting her!) and ate too much beesting from the Lobethal Bakery (which is popularly believed to be the BEST bakery in the Hills)  Such a hard way to spend a Monday really! I am practising my sock knitting on two needles.  This is the easy part.  It is the heel turning that makes me tear my hair out.
Tuesday: My day got hijacked when Hannah woke up at 5a.m. crying with a sore ear.  Kindy run for Dan.  Quick trip to the accountant to sign last year's tax return (not enough of a refund for an air conditioner - sigh) Doctor's appointment, trip to the chemist etc etc. but at least the sun was shining and I managed some odd jobs at home (including a bit of decluttering)  In the afternoon Dan and I got out into the front garden while the girl's napped.  It was bliss.  I forget how much I enjoy gardening until I am out there with the sights and smells of the last days of Autumn all around.  I cleared a little patch for some lawn and hacked back the overgrown garden beds and deadheaded roses and pruned the lower branches of the birch trees.
When I turned around and saw my boy sitting like this my heart was so glad.  James' Aunt Yvonne gave Dan this birch when he was born.  She said what she wanted most for us in our then very new, just beginning, garden was to have a tree to sit beneath.  Yvonne lost her battle with cancer not long afterwards.  I think of this tree as her legacy.  It is a reminder of her beautiful garden and the earth guardian that she was.  Here we are not quite five years later and her dream for us is becoming a reality.  One of the things I love most about gardening is that a garden is always evolving and changing.  It is one of the best ways I know of measuring and marking time.
It is also one of the best places I know to get a mental health adjustment.  Half an hour in the garden and all your cares melt away!  We stayed out until it got dark.  "It's a beautiful sunset, isn't it Mummy?"  Precious time with my precious boy.
Chicken and cashews for tea (my big boy's favourite) and then Dan and I made apple muffins with two of the enormous apples from the tree in our chookpen.  Eaten warm, just out of the oven, they were delicious!

And now it is Wednesday.  Hannah is not yet back at school.  Already this morning we have had dominoes, Lego, drawing, and Little People.  There has been spilt cereal.  There has been snot on the couch.  There has been at least a few episodes of sibling discord.  Do I care?  Not a bit.  The sun is shining.  3 loads of washing are on the line.  I have lots of spring bulbs to plant.  I can watch the green grass in our backyard grow (I am such a farmer's daughter - the sight of green grass makes me smile and because our lawn has been such a long time coming it is now extra good at making me smile!)  No doubt this afternoon there will be more sibling discord, probably tears, and lots of crumbs but I am just being.  Enjoying being home with them all.  Appreciating what we have got.  If I can sneak in a little bit of crafting then I will be a happy camper indeed!
Happy Wednesday!