Monday, August 31, 2009

Nice weather for ducks

While it's all very well and good that we have had such a lot of rain lately I am feeling that end of winter mood that seems to sweep over me every year about this time.
It's cold, it's wet, everything seems damp, mouldy...muddy.

The charm of winter has faded somewhat. If, however, you are a duck it's probably heaven.

The changing of seasons in the central highlands is a long and drawn out affair. Kind of like a relationship breakup that takes forever. One sunny day....two weeks of grey. A little tease of warmness and then some long blasts of arctic air. Getting the picture?
The up side is that living here we really do get to feel the seasons. I know from the little bits of blossom around the place, and the jonquils and daffs, that things are changing and spring is on the way. I just wish it would hurry up!

Meet Wolf Man, he called by on the weekend.
Bill spent quite a while in this guise, I really like the colour - it made up for the lack of blue sky!

Extreme weather conditions call for extreme hot water bottle action. Do you like my tea towel cover? I had plans to make more, or should I say HAVE plans, it's a matter of finding the time. Where does it go? Have I told you that shortly I am going to be returning to study? Yep, it's official. I will be attempting to get a Diploma of Children's Studies. This will hopefully lead on to a further year of study doing a course called Pre & Post Natal Care. I really want to work with women and help them through this important time of life. It's going to be a lot of work and I'm a bit scared about how I'm going to fit everything in. But I'm also excited and looking forward to this new part of my own life.

A lovely girl from school made me a little origami horse recently so I made this lavender birdie for her from scraps of alpaca. It smells gorgeous. I've been sewing some lavender hearts too that the kids put in their pillows to help them sleep.
So even though the sun isn't out and things are a bit ho hum I can see light at the end of the tunnel. At least this winter we haven't been as sick as last year, we had a lot of gastro and colds which was horrible. And we are lucky enough to be going away in a few weeks to the very beautiful Mooloolaba! ( The last time we went was before Rosie was born and Sunday was just a wee little baby floating in an orange ring in the pool. Awww. She was so cute.) I can't wait to feel some tropical warmth.
How was your weekend? Did you enjoy some time with your family or friends? Maybe it's becoming autumn in your part of the world. Lots of love to you all xo

ps: I bought this frame recently for two dollars at the opshop. I didn't realise until later that it had a face!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Like magic

It was a..

sweet lovin',

breaky in bed type,


soup making,

bunny creating,

Abba singing,

jonquil growing,

chalk drawing,

outdoorsy, wood collecting

egg gathering type of

A relaxing, family Sunday which was just what I needed as Friday was a blur of tears and feeling low, for no particular reason. Hormones? Melancholy..who knows. I didn't feel like making anything, talking to anyone, blogging. I felt overwhelmed by the household chaos, the cleaning, the cooking, the looking after of others. A blind came down and stayed down. Sometime during Saturday it eased up a little and by Sunday the sun was shining through my window again and we had a special, wonderful, lovely day. The house was full of happy sounds & smells, kids singing, soup bubbling away, Swedish gingerbread biccies were baking, our lovely neighbours visited. Spring was in the air & Rosie & Sunday went to the park, splashed in puddles and came home to a hot bath and spaghetti for dinner. As we were eating Rosie said quietly, "I love all of you, and Charlotte & Nan." Things don't always run smoothly do they?.. but when they do it's magic. Days you want to keep forever.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Psychology, Op Shops & being sixteen

Yesterday I was in Melbourne and accidentally on purpose found myself in an op shop (shock! horror!). Actually it was an upmarket/fancy pants op shop in Fitzroy. Anyway I loved this apron and could really relate to the desperate pleas. (Wash the dishes, scrub the floors...Help! PLEASE, Help!)

I couldn't, however, relate to the price tag.$15 for a stained (although admittedly amazing) apron, sorry, no can do.

I also came across this recipe book. Annie Ross looks like a helluva gal, when she says "Come on In" you can't say no! Do you like her come hither/don't mess with me look? Check this quote out from Chapter 5. "I was working in Birdland opposite Buddy Rich a while back. A cat came in one night who used to hang in the village and invited me to his place in Haiti. Buddy said I might as well go because he and his old lady had spent two groovy months there." Wow.

Annie shares some beaut recipes such as Cold Veal with Tuna Fish, The Grapefruit Diet and Pigs Trotters. Yum!

The real reason for the city trip was that time is nigh for University Open Days. What happened to my little baby?? Yep, she is almost grown up.

So we braved our way through the pouring rain and wind to the damp & crowded tents of the University of Melbourne. On a sunnier, or a least dryer, day I'm sure we would have been oohing and ahhing a bit more at the stunning campus. Gorgeous old buildings galore, green lawns, swimming pool, etc etc etc. Did I mention arch ways? Lots of them. Despite the rain there was a festive atmosphere. This woman was in a real party mood.

We gathered information like a couple of swooping seagulls - pamphlets, booklets, a quick cuppa for mum and then we were out of there. Back through the rain, comparing rain affected parts. Her: soaking wet sock due to hole in boot, Me: soaking wet arms due to inefficient/cheap coat. We both loved this little house which is about as narrow as they come, nice balloons huh?

Then it was onto the Catholic University which couldn't have been more of a contrast. Although it didn't have the grandness of Melbourne Uni it was extremely friendly (we like) and easy to access (good too) and the furry faced professor of psychology cheerfully helped us with our questions. So then we tootled back up the freeway . A lot to take in and I'm glad Char is still in year 11. At the moment she is keen to study psychology but her interest in the arts may take her in another direction.

It's funny having kids at different stages and ages. It really doesn't seem that long ago that Charlotte was having a princess party herself! Now she is practically a woman and is such a great daughter & person. Sometimes it's hard for her coming home to a house full of noisy, crazy kids who can be demanding & pesky. I know she loves them but I can see how hard it is for her at times. It's tricky for me too as I walk the tightrope of family life, trying to keep everyone happy, making sure they are all listened to, fed, cleaned, loved (that bits easy). I hope she knows how important she is to us all and how much her little sisters and brother love & look up to her. I hope she knows how much we miss her when she is away at shcool. Life is complicated, and being 16 is too. Charlotte, I know it's hard sometimes, I'm sorry I don't always get it right,
I love you xo

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Colour in my day

Yesterday I went to the service for my friend in Melbourne and although it was sad it was also great to celebrate Janet's life. It was hard but good. Janet's house was full of her ceramics and amazing photo's of her were projected against a wall. It was very much like she was there. Well she was actually, her coffin rested on the dining room table, covered in wattle and surrounded by those who loved her. Her son's and daughters spoke about her life and afterwards we all drank expensive champagne as she would have wished. Today has had a different pace and it's been sunshine all day which has brightened up my world.

This morning Rosie and I dashed over to Castlemaine, now there's a fantastic town, and found a sweet little tea set for her friend Isabella's birthday. We also found this colourful windspinner & Rosie cut quite a figure running up the footpaths of Castlemaine, in full ballerina regalia, holding it high for the wind to blow. Then we wandered around the corner to the most amazing shop I've seen for a while...Absinthe.

It is full of gorgeous head was in a whirl. I love this tin heart that is now hanging on our door.

And here is me sporting the most beautiful scarf in the world, which I just couldn't resist. I love the way a scarf can add so much to what you are wearing and how you are feeling.

Each week I think things will quiet down but each week brings new challenges lately. Our boy Bill has been on crutches for a few days with a sore leg. It's all been a bit mysterious and he has had an x-ray and been to the doctors twice. It has been very painful and I have been quite worried. Tonight, though, he says it feels alot better so hopefully he is on the mend. Lucy has gone away on her first school camp and Mark has gone along for the first two days. So I'm home with only three! Rosie & I went to Isabella's Princess Party today where the 'real Snow White" appeared. Can you imagine the excitement?

Lots of colour at the party and then more after school today as Sunday worked on her godseyes...

She is taking them to school tomorrow for Show & Tell. Do you remember making godseye's when you were little. If you are a child of the seventies I'm sure you will!

Anyway, enough about me, how's your day going? Come on over...I've just put the kettle on! Lets sit down in a sunny spot, on the verandah and have a cuppa...tell me what's been happening with you lately.....xo

Monday, August 10, 2009

Getting connected

I have just spent the weekend with five beautiful women friends in the bright lights of Melbourne town. It was a relaxing, inspiring, chatty and funny time and it was lovely to spend quality time with these great people, all who I have met since living in Daylesford. Is it just luck that you meet people you really like? If so then I must be a super lucky girl.

There seemed to be a strong thread of friendship this weekend kicking off with bumping into lovely Kate at creche drop off on Friday. I always love to chat with her, sharing things about our day to day lives, the kids, latest drama's, creating... there is never nothing to say! Then it was on to coffee with two other lovlies, Tracy & Fiona, where we really chatted up a storm, covering topics that are close to my heart, children, family & connections between people.Two good friends who I don't always see but who I know are always there.

On Saturday morning I met up with Michelle & Michelle and we tootled off on the train to Melbourne. There we met up with the others and proceeded to eat, talk, cry and laugh our way around town. The crying bit was sometimes from laughing ,but also from reacting to the powerful movie, Beautiful Kate. Wow, that's a hell of a film. If you haven't seen it yet then try to see it soon, a wonderful and moving experience made by another amazing woman, Rachel Ward.

On Saturday night we went to Abla's restaurant for their delicious banquet. We sat upstairs and had dish after dish of tasty lebanese food. Abla came around a few times to check on us, a very warm & lovely woman. When Phillipa asked her if it was difficult food to cook she explained to us that if you love to cook, then it is not hard, but you have to LOVE to cook! Don't worry, she said, if you make a mistake the first time, just keep trying and you will get it right. I loved this advice as it relates to so much in life. Abla's food is pretty mind blowing and there sure is a lot of it. I came out feeling a bit like this city pigeon....
Although I had a great time away the weekend was a little overshadowed by a quiet sadness in my heart. A good friend who I have known since I was a teenager went to sleep on Thursday night and didn't wake up. Strangely I was thinking about her that day and making a mental note to call as we hadn't spoken in a long time. The next day I found out she had died. I wonder why she came into my mind, was she waving goodbye? She was a gutsy, clever, earthy, funny & kind woman who loved to laugh and had a great take on life. Tomorrow there is a service at her home and I will go and say farewell & celebrate this wonderful woman with her family & friends.

All of these different parts of my weekend have had me thinking alot. The things that stand out are friendship & love and the need to belong. Connecting with the people I love is truly the most important thing of all. Hope your weekend was a happy one, xoxo

Friday, August 7, 2009

Polly & the Bunny Sisters

I recently got back to bunny business and it's been lovely creating new, sweet, soft bunnies. I decided to make a birthday bunny for Rosie using some pretty red flowery fabric and the usual alpaca wool offcuts.
Jeff gave me a hand.

Rosie loves her new friend and has called her Polly.

At the last Marker's Market a lovely woman called Alison admired a bunny that had already been sold to Annissa from LiliPili . She took my details and emailed me last week to order two bunnies for a friend.

The Bunny Sisters are now finished & ready to leave the Dandelion rabbit warren to head for Sydney (and warmer weather!). I am really happy with how they turned out, they each have a different personality but the same sweet & slightly wistful nature. I hope they get lots of cuddles.

Hope you get lots of cuddles too over the weekend! I'm off to Melbourne for 24 hours of kidfree time. After a long and tiring week I'm feeling pretty worn out so I'm sure it will be good for me. See you soon, xoxo