Thursday, December 12, 2013

make do..


Our old deck chairs were looking a bit worse for wear, and there was only so much re-stitching (and re-stitching) you could do to patch them up.  They're a bit larger than your average deck chair and all the standard slip covers I bought in the past would never fit right.  So, I found these navy floral thrifted pillow slips and made some new covers. Now I just need to give the timber a bit of an oil and they will be almost good as new!

They'll see us through christmas, but I can't see them staying.  I think it's the dark background...and maybe the pattern.  I always do this.  I'm just best to stick to my neutrals.  When will I learn...  

Still, at least we can sit on them now!

What have you been getting up to lately?

Share your creative space here..  

Thursday, December 5, 2013


it's getting festive around here, and this year it's super exciting because we're hosting Christmas lunch for my family! It's our first time of doing it for real and the first year we've not had to travel anywhere, YAY! 

so, we're crafting and cleaning and being inspired by our surroundings.  We're keeping things simple and rugged and rustic..

and a little bit sweet!

*I just found out that Kirsty is back with My Creative Space, squeeee! How super exciting!  So I've had to pop back here after posting this today to link up.  Oh the happiness..

So firstly, let me just say I did not make that fabulous pinecone wreath, it was the first christmas decoration I ever purchased when we bought our first home and were newly married.  My creative space this week has been getting my christmas on.  We made tin lanterns, which my boys thought was the best fun.  Ice, hammers, nails and everyone was happy!

I've been hanging branches all over the place adorned with anything from fairylights, baubles to little birdies.    

How about you, are you getting your Christmas on? Are you as happy as I am to have 'My Creative Space' back?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

9 months..

Time goes too fast.

It's been 9 months since this beautiful baby girl came into our world.

For just under 9 months she was growing in my belly, and after a tentative and emotional beginning, I could have lived that pregnancy over and over forever!

And now here she is, 9 months out.  Nine delightful months of getting to know this joyous little being.  My goodness she truly is all sunshine and happiness and we are so much in love with her.

How lucky we are.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

learning self belief..

The last few days I've been agitated and impatient.  Its our busiest time of year from now until Christmas, so I'm madly processing shoot after shoot, between the organising of children, managing their commitments and running about here and there doing what mumma's do.

But it's not all the busyness thats making me feel like this, it's not even the sleep deprivation from our teething babe.  I've been bothered and not really knowing why...and then I realised.  It's the weekend of the very first Craft Sessions and I can't be there.  I'm grumpy, feeling sorry for myself to be missing out and I'm all woe is me.

When I received an email from Felicia inviting me to take part my heart skipped a beat.  First with excitement, then disbelief and then disappointment, knowing I'd have to decline.  To be involved in such an amazing event, surrounded by so many incredibly inspiring and talented people would have been awesome!  My heart races just thinking about it.  I'm so excited to see the pictures as they appear on Instagram and can't wait to hear all the details of each session.

I've been thinking about that email, and if I'm honest, for a brief moment upon receiving it, I thought 'thank goodness I can't, baby, life, it's all too hard..and everyone would realise that I'm really not very good at my craft, that I'm a bit of a hack and make things up as I go...'

Yes, I thought this.  My husband was super supportive of me going and not at all questioning why I shouldn't.  It struck me how critical I was of myself.  Still! At 41 years old!

What I wonder, is did I hide behind excuses?  Would the family and the business have managed a couple of days without me?  Well, the reality is, it IS a crazy busy time and would not have been practical for me to go at all just now.  If it weren't for that though, based on my clear and obvious insecurities, would I have used other excuses?

I try to teach my boys self confidence, assurance, assertiveness, and hope they will have great faith in their abilities and their dreams.  I always tell them to have a go, you won't always get it right, you won't always be great, but you'll never know if you don't give it a go.

There was a significant moment in my childhood that had an enormous impact on me.  One that I remember always, and tell my children about when they feel insecure or doubt their ability.  It was a time when I used excuses because of fear and said 'no' to something wonderful.  Fear of what, I'm not sure.  If I could go back to that moment I would say 'yes', and embrace it and be proud and probably even great!

This weekend we watched our big boy take to the stage and play drums to a room full of people and he WAS great! It was a big deal for him to be involved in such an event, and so brave to play totally solo, no backing music, just him.

I feel inspired by him.  I feel like celebrating the creative side I never really believed in, and I feel good about how I do what I do, in both my craft and my work.

And so it seems, it may be them teaching me..

Do you hide behind excuses?

Or are you brave and self assured and walk the talk?

Sunday, October 20, 2013


its been a huge two weeks all round.

two weeks busy with jobs rolling in quickly, a birthday, of surf lessons, intensive swim lessons, and teething.

two weeks of great achievements and accomplishments by each of us.

a massive six month project completed and presented by the big boy (hear that huge sigh of relief from the mumma), the middle guy earned his pen license and received a star of the week award, the little guy's enthusiasm for writing kicking up a notch or two and loosing a forever wobbly tooth, the baby girl cutting yet another tooth and becoming way too adventurous in her rolling endeavours.  As for us, the busy season has begun, late nights, the juggling, the striving to maintain some kind of balance, and we are coping, mostly..for now.

so this morning we took ourselves out for a celebration breaky to acknowledge everyones successes, but we are tired, and some of us a little bit emotional, it was time to unwind.  A walk on the beach, some drawing in the sand, breathing in the sea air and basking in the warmth.  It's just what this little family needed today.

*photos by the mr.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Twelve, hooley dooley!

This boy.
He swells my heart full of pride, admiration and love.

This boy who is growing up before my very eyes and I am in awe of him, everyday.
His beauty, his gentleness, his busy mind and his strength.

This boy, who laughs so hard he can't breathe, who has his dad's sense of humour and deep dark stare.
Whose imagination and play and adventurous spirit is a gift to us all and will serve him well always.

This boy, my baby, turns twelve.
My darling Harvey, I love you to bits! 

Happy Happy Birthday to you..x

Monday, September 23, 2013

on motherhood..

note blurred picture as a symbol of the newborn haze (also it's from my iphone) 
but it's the one I wanted to use for this post for all that it represents 
of those special, difficult, joyous and exhausting days. 

Motherhood, that's a big topic, huh!  

I'm writing this post, not to cover motherhood entirely, I'm no expert and the enormity of that is just way beyond me, argh the spectrum here is extreme to say the least!  I am writing it because my sister in law has just recently had her first baby.

As the big sister to my brother and mumma of four, I'd like to be able to help wherever I can.  To drop in the odd meal, have more than the odd cuddle of the newborn and to offer advice when it is sought. It's hard though, the offering of advice.  What I have come to realise after four babies and hearing other mumma stories over the years, is that we are forever learning and trying to find our way, and it changes from one child to the next.

What I want to tell this sweet, dedicated beautiful new mum, is that we are all just working it out as we go..still! Every child is different, and after every child each mother is different.  We all continue to grow and learn as each day dawns and each new phase begins.  The learning is endless.

There is no right or wrong.  There is only what works for you at the time.  If your newborn wants to feed constantly and you are able to accommodate, then do.  If you need to get things done and can't face another feed so soon, then look at other options.

All of our situations are so variable, they change all the time, especially with additional children to tend to.  But first time round, listen.  Listen to your baby.  Listen to your body.  Listen to your heart.  Listen and be a tune to what is happening around you and do what feels right, for you.

Some days you will do nothing more than sit and feed and hold your baby all day long.  Other days you will shower and cook a meal and maybe even leave the house!  It's all so unpredictable, but if you can, just appreciate each day for whatever it presents.  Don't have expectations and don't be disheartened when things don't go as you'd hoped.

Know you are doing a wonderful job on the good days and the bad.  Be kind to yourself, and know that none of us are experts, no matter how in control and well balanced we may appear.  None of us have all the answers, and none of us are in a position to judge or be judged.

We are mothers.  We have been given the greatest privilege to be doing the greatest job in the world. It's hard work, and believe it or not, it really does get harder the older they become, just like they say it does..and I'm only 12 years in!

Love them.  Listen to them.  Be there for them.  When people offer their words of wisdom, take only what works for you.  Enjoy the good days and the hard days, for those newborn days are over within the blink of an eye.  You know what, you will never be an expert and you will always question your ability, decisions and parenting style. Lets not even talk about the guilt!

What I'd like to say most sincerely from the depths of my heart, is welcome to motherhood you glorious, capable, wonderful woman!

...and I am here whenever you need, and for whatever you need, always x 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

made by hand..bonnets

It may be Spring, but these little blossom bonnets have been in high demand.  I'm having a lovely time making them but isn't it funny how almost as soon as there is a little warmth in the air, I have a natural urge to be using lighter yarns.

So this will be the last of making with wool and onto my cotton rug I go...right where I left off last summer.

What have you been making?  Join in over here....

Monday, September 9, 2013

random happenings..

Its been so long since I posted random happenings around here.  I've found it difficult to sit and write my blog, even though there is a post being written in my head just about every night as I lie in bed. There's loads to say, and nothing all at the same time.  I'm hoping I find my groove again soon, I miss it.

Last weekend my parents came to stay, we celebrated fathers day with 2 of my 4 brothers.  For one, it was extra special because this was his first fathers day.  We welcomed my new nephew, Tex, to the family 3 weeks ago and he is divine. Dad came equipped with his chainsaw ready to work as always. Sadly, we had to cut down the big old willow out the front of our place.  A climbing favourite that was no longer safe. I've had people coming to collect trailer loads of branches to make use of, and I saved just a few for a simple wreath.

This little guy has had me in awe of his bravery and composure.  The mother of the year award will not be coming my way any time soon.  He was desperately in need of a haircut.  I clipper it myself, always, but I haven't made the time in months.  So amongst the after school madness last week, I decided it was time.  In my haste I started, straight up the middle of his head without the measure guard on. Yes, I did. 

I couldn't believe what I had done, and while trying very hard to keep calm, the middle guy comes out and screeches "What are you doing!! Are you making him bald!!", at which point this little guy totally, and understandably, flips out, while I try to fix the hideous mess.  It was traumatising for all of us.  A hair appointment was made and the best that could be done was done.  A hat has been worn ever since and most likely will be for another week at least.  We might find it a funny story in time. 

Spring arrived and the warmth in the air has been so energising.  I woke yesterday with sunshine streaming through the window and I couldn't get out of bed quick enough.  I hurried everyone out of the house and we walked to the beach to soak it in.

I was desperate to be out, feeling the sun on my skin, the crisp, fresh ocean air on my face.  The waves were amazing.  Loud and constant.  We could hear them roar way before we could see them, it was a perfect morning to be there.

These two wander and chat, and I noticed how much the middle guy has grown in the last couple of months. They are such good mates. They bicker of course, but they're the first at each others side when one of them is hurt or feeling sad. 

We sat to watch the big cargo ships, imagining what it would be like to be so far out at sea.  We watched the people out running and walking their dogs, and a man doing some kind of tai chi and meditation and I wanted to join him. 

The big boy climbed sand dunes and took some pictures for me in between.  He announced recently that he doesn't want to have his picture blogged or instagramed any more.  Sad but true, so be it.

We're more than halfway through the year already and I can't quite believe he will be at high school next year. He's excited and nervous all at once.  Suddenly there seems to be loads of stories flying around about what goes on at high school, and he's beginning to feel very anxious.  Times have been challenging to say the least, a post I've written that one day I might be brave enough to share.  We really need his secondary school experience to kick off in the most positive way. 

This little girl is the light of his life, and I suddenly realise why we have been blessed with her.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

made by hand..

It's always nice to have a little project on the go.  However, I've come to realise I'm not so good with creations that carry on and on for seasons, though I like the idea of eventually having a beautiful piece that will be treasured and kept for generations.  One that my children will talk about fondly as they remember how many winters I'd sit and crochet this family favourite.  So maybe one day I'll finish that ripple blanket started so long ago.

For me, for now, it's quick fixes and instant gratification.  I like to do the speedy projects that don't take too much brain power, just keep my hands busy for a little while at a time, photograph, gift/sell/store and move on.

I love the simplicity of the basic treble and double crochet stitches repeated over and over.  I almost never (okay, never!) follow a pattern.  I didn't realise how impatient I was until I started to craft.  I'll get an idea in my head and make it up as I go, just to see it done.  Which is most likely why I can never create the exact same piece twice!  Perhaps one day I'll take the time, I'd really like to teach myself to knit day.

This shell stitch cowl/hood was a newy for me, and I loved making it so much I couldn't work fast enough making more and more.  

Now it's back to the comfort, familiarity and classic style of the basic treble repeated over and over and over...

join in and share what you've been making with Christina's lovely link made by hand...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

6 months..

It's like she's always been here, I can't remember what it was like before her.

She's a dream, really a dream. She's this perfect little being, and I have to pinch myself to know its for real.

Her eyes are still the bluest blue, they must come from her pop.

Her little lips are like rosebuds and forever blowing raspberries, much to everyone's delight.

Her hair looks dark one day and then almost red the next, with a little tuft that sticks up and curls over and refuses to be tamed.

She cut her first two teeth without any fuss, just a few extra cuddles and more frequent feeds.

She could give or take solids just now, though she did enjoy a little tasting of our roast veggie soup and the yogurt from my muesli.

Her little face lights up with her smile so big when she first sets eyes on me after sleeping, it's my most favourite moment of every day.

She reaches for everything and everyone. She pulls their faces in and squeezes tight, like she can't get enough of them.  And she suddenly becomes so animated and vocal when we meet them at school, joining in with all the natter and hustle and bustle that is pick up.

She's chunky as can be and, and those chubby legs do not stop moving.  She tries to pull herself into a sitting position, but it all seems too hard and she lets herself fall back into the comfort of her reclined chair.  Floor time is not her favourite, I don't think she'll be on the move quite as quickly as her big brothers were, but this suits me for now, it's a bit easier when they stay right where you put them!

She's a little bundle of pure joy and delight.  I still can't picture her beyond the now, and I am soaking her in, every minute, every day, every little bit.

Monday, July 8, 2013


his chatter is constant

his mind is thoughtful

his heart is big and always open wide

he is kind and funny

an old soul

he heads out the door everyday with the greatest expectations, yet enjoys the simplest of things

pyjama days are his favourite

his imagination is wild

he's a collector

a dreamer

he sees the magic

he lives for play

he's untidy and scattered and charming all at once

he is our middle guy

he is nine

Happy Birthday my little dark haired boy, I love you with all of my heart..x

Thursday, July 4, 2013

my creative space..

What to give a 16 year old girl with her own style and very particular taste?  

I took a risk and went for the handmade option..eeek!

It's super chunky and soft and oh so cosy, I love it, but I'm not 16.

I really hope she likes it...

The last of our creative spaces is over's been wonderful, inspiring, motivating and loads of fun, thanks so much Kirsty!

Monday, June 24, 2013

the winter sun shines and my heart overflows..

...all of a sudden you see the values you hold so dear in the hope of raising good people, come shining through like the winter sun.

In a simple gesture, a single moment, you witness the gentle love between brothers, and just like that, you know you're on the right track.

Last night we made pizza and snuggled down to watch 'the life of Pi'.  There was the usual niggling over who sat where, who has which cushion, enough blanket and the most leg room...he and I look at each other and we know we're both wondering the same thing...can we do nothing without this incessant banter?? 

Then suddenly we were all transfixed on the movie and loving every minute.  By the end, we were so captivated as the story was revealed, and the little guy had tears rolling down his cheeks as he tried to make sense of the sadness of it all.

His brothers looked at him and felt his hurt.  Quietly and without a word spoken, the middle guy reached for a tissue and handed it to his little brother..

And my heart filled to overflowing.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


A few random things...

We took that mini holiday and went to Fiji for my youngest brothers wedding. It was magical.  It was such a happy day, the groom and his beautiful bride, my big boy as ring barer, an island resort, lots and lots of dancing, sunshiny warmth, spending time with all of my brothers, it was wonderful.  Of course we didn't escape all of the moods and madness the entire time, but it was more manageable somehow.  Thank you for your very kind and encouraging comments on my last post..

I've pulled out my dusty wool stash and have been making a few wintery warm things at my leisure (my leisure!? what is that?) popping some in the shop, and my boys have put in orders, this always warms my heart..

One of my brothers has bought a house and moved his soon-to-be-family-of-three right down here in our town, the best!

I am getting super speedy at my job in our little business and just learned a process I've not made time to learn since we started, and that sure feels good..

Baby girl has found her voice and listening to her happy natter is heavenly..

We've accepted we're not going to have a winter kitchen garden this year, there just isn't the time, sad but true. We will, however, make time on a weekend to go to local farmers markets to pick up the good stuff someone else has managed to grow..

Our big boy got into the high school program he so wanted..we are relieved and proud beyond words. He's had a really rough couple of years, it's nice for him to have a win finally, phew! We were fascinated by his answer to one of the interview questions..'who are 3 people you'd like to have at a dinner party?' his answer... Joseph Stalin, Leonardo Da Vinci and Adam Sandler - imagine!

Winter sure is cold but winter dinners are the best! One pot wonders filled to the brim with vegie goodness that all of our little people love..very happy about that!

There is nothing warmer than wool.  A fact I am reminded of every year.  I start off thinking I'll just layer up with pretty prints and a frill here and there, but nothing warms like a woollen nana spencer.  So, on top of the list for my next visit to the shops is nana spencers..and maybe another pair of patterned tights to keep things pretty..

School holidays are almost upon us and I am determined to make the most of them.  A happy balance of slow moving jammie mornings and a few adventures too..