Friday, May 29, 2020

Taking stock..

I do like a little TAKING STOCK post.  Time to notice, reflect and appreciate stuff.  Here's what's happening in my world this weird and wonderful May..

Making: Crochet shawls, and working on unfinished projects 

Cooking: Hearty one pot casseroles full of veg and goodness

Sipping: Wine, maybe a little too often, but enjoying it

Reading: Phosphorescence by Julia Baird

Waiting: Everyday feels a bit like waiting at the moment, I'm not sure for what, just waiting

Looking: forward to a family gathering where all of our babies can finally play and hug and have fun together.  Also, I can't wait to have all my brothers in one place and to hug them tight

Listening: to my clever boy's ISOLATION EP, loving it and moving to it regularly

Wishing: I could knit! I will persevere

Enjoying: Having my boys still at home remote learning, random chats with them and seeing them so happy and relaxed about it all.

Appreciating: Our wonderful teachers! Seriously, beyond words.  They've been nothing short of amazing.  Olive's teacher has been so reassuring, and supportive and SO much fun, he should really be on Playschool.

Eating: all the chocolate my babies bought me for Mother's Day

Liking: that my boys can see their friends again.  Kids need their mates, I'm aware of that now more than I ever was before

Loving: Autumn sunshine and the stunning pastel skies at night

Buying: Food! We are going through so much food with these boys home everyday

Managing: to allow myself time for quiet, still working on the inherent need to justify it though

Watching: Dead to Me on Netflix

Hoping: That there's a change to our 'normal' as restrictions ease. That people realise things can be done differently, slower, with more focus on the important stuff.

Wearing: My favourite PRIMOEZA hand knit and linen jumpsuit almost everyday, it's like my uniform

Noticing: I'm a better gardener than I ever thought!  I just always assumed I'd be crappy at it, but turns out I actually have a bit of a green thumb.  Who knew?!

Sorting: through toys and clothes the kids have outgrown

Getting: tips on how to darn and repair holes in favourite knits

Bookmarking: balustrade designs, ours needs replacing as our children grow taller and much bigger.

Coveting: Wendy's beautiful FLOWERFOLK dresses.  They remind me of my Mum's favourite dresses that I always hoped I'd inherit, but sadly were tossed out somewhere along the way

Feeling: grateful that my husband's work has been secure and ongoing 

Hearing: constant finger boarding tricks coming from the little guys room, a lot of online group chatter coming from the middle guy's room and sweet sounds of guitar strumming from the biggest.

Taking Stock with Pip HERE.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The shawl..

A gift for my beautiful mum on Mother's Day.

This was such a joy to make. Well, it was after about my 15th attempt at trying to achieve the perfect triangle angle! I started it a few months ago when I stumbled across this gorgeous Italian cotton on a clearance table, but I got so sick of it not working and threw it in my 'works-in-progress' basket for another day. 

Isolation has been a great reminder to make do with what I already have, and also, nothing says "I love you" like handmade.  So I dug it up and persevered. The end result was definitely worth all the frustrating fails.  I've never been able to follow patterns, as you may know already. I don't know what it is but my brain just doesn't function that way. So like everything, it's trial and error and making it up as I go.  I really hope I can remember this one because I can't wait to make another!

Sunday, April 26, 2020


Anzac Day looked quite different this year. Not being able to gather with our community at the Cenotaph or to watch the parade march down our main street, or see my dad wearing his father's medals.  Instead, we walked to the end of our driveway at dawn with candles and stood in silence to pay our respects and to remember. It's always a very special and emotional day, but this year felt particularly so. It was heartwarming to see images of people all over the country coming 'together' in just the same way. We foraged and collected fallen gum leaves from the street behind us to make a wreath, and pulled out some old jars I had tucked away from my 40th and decorated them with a sprig of rosemary from the garden.  A day, like the rest of this strange time, that will forever be remembered in history.  

As an introvert, I may be a little bit partial to this forced isolation. Yes, there have been days early on when it felt out of control and uncertain. Weeks of feeling consumed by fear of the catastrophe going on outside, all around the world.  I was scared for my parents and in-laws, my family, and so sad for those who had already suffered devastating loss of loved ones to this virus.  It's still frightening and overwhelming, and incredibly surreal. Then gradually something happens, we adapt to the strangeness, and it becomes our new normal. Perhaps it's our survival mechanism kicking in.

I've slowly remembered, home is actually my favourite place on earth. Being home, not having to go anywhere, or (no offence) see anyone. Not having to meet society expectations of how my life should look, all busy and productive and rushed. That's not me, it never was. As a full time stay at home mum for the past 18 years (!!) it's a relief to not have to justify being at home.

When I came back to this blog space a couple of weeks ago, I noticed my little blurb up there at the top of the side bar that says "documenting moments in time that might otherwise have passed me by..mostly mothering and living this life as simply as I know how." I wonder when it was that I lost sight of that? It might've been when we bought a business at the same time our 4th child was born, at a guess. So I'm feeling a whole lot of gratitude right now, for a chance to reset, and to remember what's important to me. 

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Easter Crafting..

Keeping it super simple with some basic Easter craft this weekend. She's loving it, craving it. Everything Easter! Well, Easter bunny and egg related at least. 

Between backyard camping and toasting marshmallows at the fire pit, there's a lot of time for daily colouring in and chopping up egg cartons and beer boxes. Quick, easy, thrifty fun!  

We're normally in Swan Hill with the family and alllll the cousins at Easter time. We miss it so much this year. But we're doing our best to recreate it isolation style.

Happy Easter everyone x

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Filling her cup...

She's been glued to my side this last week.  Constantly chatting, constantly needing me, constantly telling me how much she loves me and writing sweet notes of affection.  It's lovely, it is.  And I don't want this to come across badly, but my god, it is exhausting! Being her one and only, all day, every day.  I've been noticing a gradual change in her behaviour, especially the last few days, and the boys have not been terribly patient with her.  Nick and the big boy are still working, and while the other two spend a lot of their days online with friends (screen time has been very relaxed these holidays because, well...) she hasn't had any social contact in four whole weeks, and it's taking its toll.  

Last night, she was feeling so sad. She told me that she is lonely, and that she misses her brothers. Not her friends, her brothers. Who live here! Well, this just broke my heart. I had a chat to them after she was tucked into bed, and I think it broke their heart too. So they've agreed to do their best to be a bit more tolerant, to make some time and to fill her cup.

This morning the little guy joined her in some pom pom making inspired by this Instagram post and she has not stopped smiling. They've also played jenga, soccer, hide and seek and now they're watching a movie. He might be cramming, going too hard too soon, but she is loving every minute! Just quietly, I'm pretty sure he is too.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Easter craft..

Easter crafting has begun, and we made bunny ears! A quick as a wink project all before 9am, and all you need is a beer box (or other cardboard scraps), some wool and a bit of tape.

I'm completely unprepared for craft at home. I didn't make a single trip to the shops to stock up on necessities before this all began.  So we're just making use of what we have lying around...or out in our recycle bin. I might need to dig deep into our garage and see what else I can find.  I'm pretty sure there's a Knitting Nancy in one of those containers, and maybe even some old coasters waiting to be upcycled.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

A Blog Revival..

Three years! It's been three years since I posted here last. All it took was a longtime blogging mate Kooandyoo to put a shout out on Instagram for a reunion tour, and here I am!  Gosh I've missed those friendly chats, the regular catch ups, getting inspired by people's craft and feeling connected.  Nothing like a worldwide pandemic to bring us back together, hey.

Here's a quick catch up on life over the last three years..

Where do I start, there's so much to share and nothing all at the same time.  Life just plods on.  Frustratingly, my crafting mojo has not returned to full function, and my 'works in progress' basket is overflowing with projects that I've started enthusiastically and abandoned all too quickly. It seems the only thing that sparks my making these days is new baby announcements or a random beanie request. Things might change now that I'm back in blogland with my creative mates. Fingers crossed!

Mum life ramped up to, well, off the charts. It became my life's work to be the best I could be for everyone all of the time. Of course it has always been my priority as a mum, but somewhere along the way it became unhealthily and unrealistically so. It wasn't until a breakdown of sorts, to be honest, that I realised just what I'd been doing. Being Supermum, the way I was doing it, was unsustainable. So I'm also my own work in progress these days.

The big boy finished year 12 last year, received the dux award, plays in a band with his 3 best mates, has deferred from uni to work fulltime, to live life on his own terms and to play music. Fifteen to eighteen were not easy years to parent, but we made it through.

The middle guy is almost 16, he's taller than the big boy, he's super social, forever with his friends either online or out and about (at the moment its strictly virtual of course).  With the gentle nudge of a very special teacher, he discovered he loves drama and is in fact quite good at it.  That should probably come as no surprise when we look back at previous posts dedicated to his boundless imagination, glorious quirks and daily dress ups. He takes his school work pretty seriously these days, which is a relief and something we thought might never happen. His entire life was PLAY, do you remember that?

The little guy is 13 and not so little. He's almost my height now.  He discovered music back in grade 3 and is a great drummer, though prefers to be the guitarist whenever his mates come over to jam.  Music has helped him in so many ways, what a saviour! He also loves to skate and draw, and he still loves his craft.

Olive is 7. Seven! She's funny, still adoring of us all, and loves rainbows, fairies, and unicorns.  She dishes out hugs and love notes regularly. Life is pretty sweet with her around.

Nick is doing what he does best, taking care of us all and cooking a Sunday roast as I write. His work hasn't been shut down at this stage, so he's working busily and mighty carefully as long as he still can. Perhaps Stage 4, should we come to it, will change things. It's just a matter of living day by day at the moment, never quite knowing what's ahead.

How about you? What have I missed? How are you all managing life in isolation? Want to join the reunion tour with us? Head over to Kirsty's if you do!