rosey garlands // rosey cheeks //

Last weekend we made some garlands with the petals from our roses. The roses were nearing the end of their blooming beauty, and some had begun to let their petals tumble onto our table. We thought this would be a great way of remembering the velvety roses and having some fun as well. 

The garlands themselves were very simply stitched with a needle gently through each petal, and threaded onto some variegated embroidery thread we had. The kids decided that they wanted head garlands as well as one necklace for Ari - it matched his t-shirt better!

What fun they had in the garden. Running and giggling and being silly. They do love posing and playing up for the camera. And with lush green grass and vibrant colours as the background I just snapped and snapped as they kept on posing and moving and giggling and finding new props. I'm so glad our beautiful cat Lou-Lou made it into the photos too - even though he wasn't the most willing model. 

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. I think these photos perfectly sum up what I wish and hope my Mother's Day to be. My beautiful babies enjoying living in the same place that my beautiful mama (and dad) raised me and my siblings. Exploring and discovering treasures in our forest. Sitting still and watching little birds with fascination and joy. Running and laughing and being children. And all the while making this mama's heart sing through the pure joy they are experiencing. 

Oh yes. So it is. Happy Mother's Day to all you Mamas out there. 
{and extra big hugs to all those of you who are missing your mama today}. 

E xxxx


As I write this, it's the eve of the day. This day. 10 years since our lives were rocked and shattered. 

10 years is a long time. I don't want it to have been 10 years. I don't want one day for it to have been more than half my life. And one day for me to be the age that she was. But those things will happen.

It's been on my mind much these past few weeks. The coming up of a memory day; anniversary doesn't seem the right word...

Each day doesn't get easier as such. One just learns to live with it. To come to terms with it. After this much time in my life, I have come to terms with it - to a degree. I still can't believe it. Don't know why. Why why why. 

Huh! Why not, I remind myself. It's the cycle and the flow. It's necessary. It's inevitable. And that I suppose is the scary part in a different sense. 

Living on this land, that I think of as my mother's land, brings me closer to her. Closer in one way and further in another way. Because she should be here with me, when I'm here. She should, she should! But then - when I hear and see the black cockatoos careening and playing and stretching across the sky I think of her, I feel her. And she's here. When I see the flowers and plants she planted I know she's here.

It's said that the best way to honour and remember our loved ones is to talk of them, and keep them in our thoughts, our hearts, our minds. For me - I know that I am keeping my mother alive through my doing, my making, my being. 

Each year it becomes more and more important for me to continue on with my journey as a maker, a creative, an artist, a crafter because I know that those are the things that my mama would love to see in me. I know those are the parts of me that would make her happy. That we would sit and crochet together, or she would have got me back into knitting. She with her wild crazy colours, and her not-always perfect stitches. She with her silly giggle and her elbows moving, me at her side. Me at her side.

We would explore the forest, and find treasures and pieces to put into a dye pot. We would stitch and wrap fabric and be witches together in the sunshine, or under the moonlight. The children would follow her, and jump in the freezing cold creek with her. She would take them to the beach, and make them swallow a mouthful salt water to heal them - and to connect with their past, and their future. She would walk along and gather shells and driftwood and build castles with them. She would be wearing her pinkish sarong and a big straw hat. And because it might be Summer she'd have sandals on. In Winter big leather boots under her dresses.

These are the things she'd be doing. She'd make us smile. She'd remind us that we are beautiful. And to laugh at ourselves. To explore and adventure. And to be humble. She'd listen and then tell us her wisdom. Perhaps she'd toss the I-Ching coins for us. She'd wonder if she should do this or do something else - she'd never be sure where her path lay, but she'd surely help us along our path. 

She'd always be there for us. Always know us. At our side. At our side.


Easter Geometry by Dietlind Wolf
I had planned this past week to do some natural dyeing with some chicken eggs. We even blew out the eggs and have the shells sitting and waiting. 

Despite not having the time to get them made, the real reason was that the children weren't so interested and we don't exactly have the space in our home for endless decorations and such.

Easter to us is really chocolate day. Chocolate is a religion isn't it! 

These beautifully designed egg making crafts fit more within the art & design category than the usual crafting that happens at schools and such. So amazing. I think these are perfect for any time of year - perhaps for our Southern Hemisphere Spring when it comes around?

Here's my little round-up. You only have to jump onto Pinterest to find about a trillion more......

I follow Lisa on Instagram, and am always inspired by her work - her tutorials, photos and printables that she shares are so lovely. She also has a round up of some of her favourite eggish crafty finds on her blog.  
Chalkboard Eggs from The Red Thread
These chalkboard eggs, by Lisa from The Red Thread sure are cute and would be lovely as party table settings. I'm sure kids would have lots of fun with writing special messages on these.
Egg shell and macrame hangers by The Red Thread
Macrame is super hot right now. I think my mum would love that, she sure was a bit of a macrame queen in her days (and also was known to have worn a crochet itsy bitsy bikini!). But macrame is a bit more funked up and modern than it used to be. Check out this tutorial, again by Lisa.

Tablescape by Dietlind Wolf
These were made for Living at Home magazine. Oh where can I find that publication. WOW oh WOW! I needn't say anything more about this delicious amazing fantastical vibrant eggish tablescape. Imagine sitting down for a family Easter lunch to this.

Eggs the Design*Sponge way!
The sweetest little eggish necklace from Design*Sponge
You can count on Design*Sponge to take egg decorating to a whole other level. These are simply stunning! There are tutorials for these and more, so pop on over to do some making or simply be inspired.

If you'd like to try your hand at some naturally dyed eggs, use things like turmeric, red cabbage, onion skins or beetroot. Some vinegar or salt in the water helps the colour to be fast, but it'll be a soft faded type of dye. It's a lovely and very satisfying activity, simple to do in your kitchen.

{sunset} what do you wish for?

as the sun set on the final day of the year, we gathered at the river's edge to spend time with family. with the cousins. and my sisters. we missed my brother, who lives so far away.

we had a simple meal of hot chips, and fish (for those few who eat fish). a perfect way to see out the see and think about the new year. a swig of sweet cider. the kids running and playing and climbing trees. me with my crochet work in my hand. a blanket spread on the grass for all to lounge and relax and chatter.

we went home after dark. after watching this most glorious of sun sets across the river. the colour changing each single split second of a moment. more glorious and vibrant and amazing than any photo editing program could enhance. we did not watch fireworks - who needs coloured gunpowder shooting into the sky after a display such as this!!

we drove home and climbed into bed, much earlier than mid-night. and awoke with a new day beginning. a new year beginning. new dreams and plans and wishes and intentions beginning.

i asked my family what they wished for this year. all three of them said the house built / a bedroom for myself. me? i wished for world peace! ha - actually i wished for family peace and contentment.

what do you wish for?

once upon a time we made a gingerbread house

I've been seeing a whole lot of festive happening all around, on blogs and instagram and pinterest.
I'm feeling like a miserly mama that I'm not indulging in all this with my little ones. Just not feeling it this year, for a few reasons.

And mainly, we won't be at home for Christmas. And mainly our house is so tiny that any extra 'decorations' simply become mess. And mainly we have no time to stop and do making. And mainly my mind is thinking about how wonderful our new home might look with all those lovely festive decorations - when our new house might be built is a whole 'nother something. And mainly I'm feeling sad and low when I think too much about some things. And the festive cheer isn't creeping in.

I have not done any baking at all in the past months. Except for little cakes I made for Ari's birthday for school class. I didn't bake his at home birthday cake. And I haven't baked anything for the kids at all, or us or...... Baking is festive isn't it.

This morning Ari decided he wanted to make rocky road for his teacher gifts, and for our bus driver. So he searched for recipes, mainly so we knew quantities (how much chocolate makes enough rocky road for one person's gift?). While searching through our celebration and baking books we found a picture of a gingerbread house. And so, I decided that we'll make gingerbread houses again this year.

The kids will take them into school for their end-of-year parties. Ari is excited - he wants it to be the best. He wants to show it off. That makes me happy. That even though I haven't baked for months, we will bake gingerbread and build houses and decorate them (with lots of lollies and sugary icing. oh yes. oh yes).

Two years ago we made gingerbread houses. We were house sitting, and had a beautiful kitchen to work in. I feel like I never showed those pictures to you back then - so here; our funny tumble down gingerbread house, that had so many construction (and possibly baking) issues, but was wonderful all the same! The kids smashed it in with spoons and laughed and gobbled it all up (of course it was shared with all the cousins). Oh - my baby ones, they look exactly the same, and totally different.

What festive making and baking is happening in your home?
What's your best gingerbread recipe?
Have you ever built a house?

party dresses for my mama

today is my mother's birthday. she's not here to celebrate - but she's here, in my heart, mind, soul. so she's somewhere.

so we will make a cake for her - i know my mum would love that we make cakes for her birthday. and light a candle and sing and celebrate with happiness. and think about her. she would really like the cake - that's for sure. probably some champagne and orange juice as well - but we won't do that; we'll just think about it and know she liked that.
so - i'm not feeling too philosophical to talk about my mum. just a bit perhaps. last night, while driving home on my own in the dark, i was listening to joni and thinking of my mum. a few tears, some extra loud singing, and some smiling as well.

 {images from my 'clippings folder' that i haven't yet uploaded to pinterest. this is what i did before pinterest came along..... top left: from Toast, top right: from Selvedge Magazine, bottom left: Zooey on the English Muse, bottom right: Catherine Maladrino

anyway - i thought that instead of sadness, i would think about what dress i would be wearing to my mama's party today if she was here to have a party with us. and what cake would we make her? something fun and indulgent and extravagant perhaps - the dress and the cake!!

dress making will happen once the kids go back to school. for now just planning and thinking about what the dress may be.
one of Leah's aims for this year is to make herself a dress - i aim to be making mine over the coming weeks. will you join me maybe - in making a party dress to wear to my mama's party. what would you make / wear? please share with me.

places that i am looking for inspiration ::
+ my pinterest clothing board
+ these lovely free downloadable patterns from Nani Iro - which would totally mean some new fabric, wouldn't it!!
+ Veronika Maine - endlessly classic and inspiring to me. loving her blue / green combinations.
+ Toast - always. i love receiving the catalogues. sumptious silk velvets in jewel colours. i used to have a most beautiful, simple and perfectly fitted deep green silk velvet dress that floated and swung about. oh - i loved it.
+ other endless clippings on my computer, that I keep aiming to upload to Pinterest.
...... for a start anyway......... perhaps i'll aim to sew myself a new dress once a month. wouldn't that be lovely. oh yes. my mama would love that for sure!

happy birthday mummy plummy. cakes and candles and dressing up for you today.

heart-felt happiness and wishes of peaceful, joy and light

dear friends,
some little merry wishes for you all. i hope you are enjoying all your sweet making and planning and wrapping and enjoying and laughing.
i hope you are soaking up your holiday time with your children and family and friends. we went for a little walk in the forest today - it was good and lovely.

tomorrow we are having a gathering at my sister's house with all our family. all the cousins to play and run around and laugh and be silly and eat up all the delicious food that we have so enjoyed planning and making (today Mishi and I made hand rolled chocolates, in the morning i will make chickpea dahl and spicey brown rice),

i am still enjoying crocheting these little rocks. this one became a heart almost all on it's own. i will search for more tri-angle rocks, as this shape seems good for heart making. Ari has claimed this one for himself - which i am happy with. a piece of mama-made love for my boy.

keep safe, content, exploring, enjoying, and breathing. xxxxxx E

some lovely wedding-ness

{don't you just love his socks pocking out....}

Here are just a few images that I took at Ben & Jo's wedding last week.

It was held at beautiful Customs, along Brisbane river, in the city. Such a spectacular location. And of course, the wedding couple were sweet and lovely together, and Jo looked very very elegant and classically beautiful in her dress. It was a perfect silhouette on her, with special princess detailing.

A big rain storm came across only half an hour before Jo was due to arrived, but thankfully it was all over before she got there. (The wedding staff were frantically mopping the red carpet outside!). It did mean there was a bit of wind and was a bit cool after the ceremony. But then, without the wind, I wouldn't have snapped these few spectacular images - clicked quickly as I came around the corner to bring the kids (flower girl + page boy), so they could all walk down the aisle together.

These ones of my two sweet little ones were taken before the wedding. On the red carpet of the front steps, and also upstairs in the little room we sat in, while quietly waiting for the bride to arrive (and not dirty the white outfit....). What sweetness, don't you think?

I love the light shinning through her dress, as she preened herself, and poufed the layers up.

And finally, one of Sam and me. There were barely any taken of us, which was a bit of a pity - the last time I saw Sam in a suit was at our wedding! The lighting isn't excellent in this one, but I am smiling... My necklace was a beautiful piece we found, at the last minute, at Beads and Beads in the city. It's rock crystal pieces, very rough and spiky. I got the lady to make an extra bit that hung down my back as well. Something I'll wear again for sure.

wishes & peace

I want to thank all of you who visit and read this little blog. Who encourage me with your words, ideas, input and just being here. Thank you for another wonderful year of connections a(nd getting to know myself more.)

We are heading out of town for a week. A quiet (fingers crossed) Christmas in the bush (not our new home - we are house-sitting). Sam won't be joining us there until late on Christmas eve after he finishes work and drives down. So, it will be me and the kids. 

I'm hoping to get some sewing finished for everyone in my family - some little things for the kids that I've been too sick to work on over the past few weeks. And just the teeniest little something for Sam too, nothing much really, as we are buying ourselves a new camera (and neither of us actually need anything!). I have piles of glorious fabric (this, this, this and this) that I am excited to be sewing up. I'm just planning simple things - lots of straight lines and not much need for brain use or complicated thought processes. 
I don't think we'll have internet while we're away, so I won't be back in this space until some time next week when we are back home. (If the country internet works, then I'll be perhaps popping in with some fabric / sewing show+tell). 

I wish you all beautiful holidays, time spent with family, friends and loved ones. Wishes of calm, thoughtfulness, peace, love and light to you all. And of course some delicious food, and the enjoyment of preparing and then sharing your holiday table. 

With love, Ellie
{These are the little pouches that I ended up making for Ari's school class, as a farewell gift. Mishi and I filled them with a little bead, and Ari's love note. He handed them out on the last day of class, and I do think all the kids (plus the parents) quite liked them. They did take much longer than anticipated - though I'm realising that everything always does for me lately. I made about 25 or so, and I think they took me 2 - 3 hours (plus a whole lot more of procrastination about it and fabric choosing).}

now we are 6*

This is a little letter to my boy. Hello Boy. Now you are 6! {25/10/04}

Little one, you have grown so big, and bold, and confident and so yourself.

It really is wonderful to see how you can easily interact with everybody you meet on your daily adventures. You are confident chatting with adults, and easily take the lead when in a group of other children.

Your ideas, thoughts, observations are amazing to be part of. To see the things you notice, and how your brain leads you to conclusions or the stories you make up about little things.

I really do like the way you tell you little lies to me; about how you've brushed your teeth or done something or other, when really I can tell by looking at your face that you're trying to trick me.
This is you on pirate day at school (in prep, in Mrs F's class). You've loved being in this class, coming home with all sorts of facts and bits of information, new songs and stories. Constantly singing pirate songs that you've learnt.

Your drawings constantly inspire and amaze us. The dedication to your artwork, and the pride with which you present your new piece to us is so good to see and be part of. I love seeing you grow and develop into your own drawing techniques.
This is you on the walk to school, for the art night. You are dressed in those red+white striped pants that I love so much (from Blossom Child), with the singlet we made for your friend's robot party. You threw the jacket on at the last minute, as we walked out the door, announcing it made you look like a real artist! You do really care about how you look, mostly, and take pride in wearing your lovely clothes. Thankfully you will wear what we ask you to (not at all like your sister, who will only wear exactly what she wants and nothing else). I love your sense of style, and also how you appreciate other people's clothes and outfits - often you tell me in a very loving voice that you like my dress, or skirt or that I look pretty today.

You are such a beautiful, loving and caring big brother - when you want to be! Both you and the little one play fantastic games together, making up stories and making a mess all over the place. You love playing shops; you are always the shop keeper. Or if you play cafes, you make the best little menus for us to peruse before we place our order. Sometimes, with Grandma, you are a travel agent booking tickets for her to go to Italy on a cruise ship.

You got a new bike for your birthday. A beautiful blue + white treasure. You and daddy have been spending time in the street learning to ride (no training wheels on this bike!), and I think you'll be quite the bike trickster. Especially when we move to the land and you have lots of flat space to ride about with no cars nearby.

I love you, my boy. To the moon and back. The boy who made me a mum. And made your dad a dad.

*{any excuse to use an A.A. Milne reference}.
** top picture of Ari in his Mad Hatter's tea party hat, with the hat cake we made, was taken by Sally (a school friend mum).


Here's some lovely images from Ashey's sk8 (skate for an 8 year old) party last weekend. It was such a lovely day - the cloudy, rainy sky cleared up, the sun came out and everyone had a beautiful time. One of Ashey's friends kept announcing "I'm so happy" and "this is the best party ever" - that's an excellent thing to hear from an 8yr olds mouth, isn't it. 
Look at all those kids on their boards or bikes or scooters. 
And only my sister (ok, actually I'm sure lots of other people would do it too, but I loved noticing it anyway) would colour co-ordinate her fruit with colanders so well.

And finally - one of Sam on his board. He's still complaining about a sore body after having such a good skate. Think that means a) he's getting old or b) he needs to get out on his board more often or c) both a + b!

{in every image}

This holiday ended up being all about the kids. That's why they are in basically every single image. Actually, I do have many that they didn't manage to jump into - I'll show more later. Just wanted to let you all know we have returned home safely.

We did have such a lovely lovely time. 
The kids tested our boundaries of patience a bit too much. 

Our holiday home was so beautiful. Serene and quiet. Cold. It was so good to walk into a home that looked like that, and be able to live even if just for a few days, in a tidy and very styled home. No clutter!

{Lying in that bath was just wonderful. With all the candles on.}

 {The outside swings + creek + running hills. Pity it was so cold - or we'd have been swimming and paddling in the water. We didn't see the shy little platypus; but did have some funny guinea fowls to chase}

Breakfast at Harvest Cafe, Newrybar. If you're ever in the area, do make sure to stop at this lovely cafe. It's a 2second detour from the main highway. The food was yummy, very excellent value, good kids menu too, service was friendly and efficient. And the old Queenslander house looked beautiful - styling was lovely; it felt good just sitting in such a great building.
We drove past this church each day - think we'll stay here next time...
{there'll be more photos, once I upload Ari's camera, as he took some great ones}

That's enough for now. There's so many lovely ones - I do want to share with you. 

Be back soon.
E xxxx
Also - thank you so much to everyone for your sweet birthday wishes. Was so lovely to come home to all those emails - from blogger + facebook. It's such a wonderful feeling to have dear friends pop by for a little birthday love.

sunday yellows {hoping for sunshine}

It's my birthday today.
Sam's too. 
We share a birthday, not a birth year, but the day. 

Today we are meeting family at the market. We're planning a walk around - Brisbane just simply doesn't have markets as good as this. Sorry, but it's true. I totally miss all these markets from my childhood. 
Uki, Channon, Bangalow + Byron - each once a month. Each fantastically amazing {in my memory at least; I'll give you a report on how reality stacks up to memory}.
We'll give the kids some pocket money to buy what they like. That's what my mum + dad always did. And we took so long to choose and decide and look look look, and ummm and ahhhh. Ari found a $20 note out in the street a few weeks back, so he has that as well.

And then, weather permitting, the boys will go skateboarding and we'll have a meander along the shoreline, with the two girl cousins - who will have so much fun playing together.
And yes a birthday picnic. 
What a glorious day we have planned. Even if it doesn't go to plan, it will be spent with loved and cherished ones and will be glorious anyway.

in fairy land

Just a couple of images from our little fairy party yesterday. Mishi turned 3 on Friday (still to write her birthday message), and we had a little celebration over the weekend. 
I'm hoping my father-in-law has some good photos, as I didn't get time to take many more than this. 

We made tissue and fabric flowers and hung them from the roof. I was imagining what it looks like in fairy land, with all the flowers being quite bigger than the little fairies and elves. I had a whole image in my head - but of course not the time to execute it all. I was very happy with our pretty flowers. 
{thanks Steph for the reminder}.

The little cupcakes were meant to look like mushrooms and pink flowers, they all had beautiful butterflies fluttering in them. The sugar butterflies are from a fellow Bris-Stylette - I don't normally use a lot of sugar or have lollies, etc at our parties, but these were so pretty and for the little three year old fairy I thought it would be a lovely topping for our cakes. 
Do head over and have a look at Bel's new shop - I was so happy with them. I do quite like these little birdies too - perhaps another party!

We're off to have more cakes for morning tea. While most were gobbled up yesterday, I managed to save a just a couple for lingering over today. 
*I was much too busy being the hostess yesterday to enjoy any cake, so am yet to taste them properly - but was told they were delicious. 
*Thank you to my sister, who was such a great help with everything yesterday. She looked so wonderful too - as a white fairy princess, with her tutu-petticoat and red plaits. (no photo, sorry Sylv).

let the sparks fly!

Happiest New Year wishes.
We spent a quiet new years eve at home. Sam sick in bed, asleep. The kids waiting, very impatiently, for the 9pm fireworks (on tv*). Me wondering what the new year means.
And some sparklers on the verandah.

Sparks have been flying around here already this new year.
Here's hoping to sparks of excitement and joy and happiness and health.
And many many sparks of inspiration and observation and anticipation of simple good things.

 *and I realised what a mean mama I am, by not taking them to see the fireworks amongst the intense new year's crowds - which I hate so so much. The tv fireworks were boring and disappointing, even for me who doesn't care at all for fireworks.
So I promised, to myself, that I will do more things this year for my children's enjoyment despite my lack of enjoyment at the activity!

cookie factory

We made some cookies, yesterday, to give the kindy teachers today.
We mixed, measured, rolled and cut. Then waited and waited for our (old old) oven to bake them. We made 5 batches in total. Enough cookies for everyone.

This morning the kids wrote their labels, and filled the bags - carefully counting them out, and deciding which shapes would go in which bag. While Ari + I tied the labels on with some lovely hemp twine, he talked about us being the packing and wrapping section of the cookie factory.
He's quite into factories at the moment. Mainly because of Willy Wonka.

The smell of orange throughout the house last night, was so lovely. I'll for sure be making some orange cookies again. Ari did declare them to be quite yummy.

Vanilla + Spice Cookies ::
Start with 125g room softened butter, mix with your fingertips into 225g plain flour, until resembles breadcrumbs. Add 80g soft brown sugar, 2 capfuls of vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice or ginger powder. Roll out onto a flat surface, with some flour to prevent sticking. Using your favourite cookie cutters, cut as many shapes as you can. Then re-roll and cut again until you're used all the mixture. Place onto baking tray, lined with baking paper. Bake at 180C for about 15-20 mins, or until just golden.

Orange + Coconut Cookies ::
As above, but substitute about half the flour with dessicated coconut. Finely grate orange zest, not peel or rind, into the mixture. Add sugar and vanilla. A little squeeze of fresh orange juice, is you need the mixture to be a little bit wetter. Roll, cut and bake as above.


where i am..... where i've been

My sister reminded me the other day that I hadn't been here for a while.
I do have a whole lot of posts written for you, but none of them flowed the way I wanted.
Things have been busy and slow, and noisy and quiet. All at the same time - well next to each other times, anyway.

Our December markets are over. And we don't currently have any booked in for January. But, we do have a shop to focus on getting set up, and opened. And that's taking time, and thought process, and energy.
We had a little set-back with one place that we had our eye on, but that ended up being for the best {things often are, aren't they?}, and now we think we've found our perfect little shop. Just need to do all that paperwork and logistics aspect of it.

The kids have started kindy now. We've waited and waited. And now I have three days each week, where I drive them there and pick them up, and have many many many hours in between for doing things.....
You know, things.
Well, yes okay - actually work is the number one thing - sewing and designing and writing business plans and keeping on top of paperwork and that sort of stuff.
But other things too. Lovely things, like shoe shopping with my sister. Let me tell you, I am way over due for a new pair of shoes! But, of course, fussy me - I didn't find any. Sylve got some cute Simple sneakers on sale - but my size was sold out.
But these ones are super cute, and I think I'll search them out. I'm not sure if I like them in Ruby Wine or Ensign Blue.

We did find some beautiful new dresses, that we simply had to take home. Veronika Maine is an Australian designer, and most of her pieces are crafted right here in Aust. The blue dress I tried on made both Sylve + me almost jump up and down. It just felt so perfectly perfect when I slipped it on. Blue cotton. I will have to photograph it for you, as the folded pleated detailing is the most stunning of any I have seen. I really do love the tucks, pleats and folds that is a signature of Veronika Maine's style. A classic, yet almost deconstructed and asymmetrical. Pieces that know your body.

So, what else. What else.
I have been doing a lot of thinking. About the closing of this year, and freshness of next year. And writing lists, and goals and plans, and hopes and dreams.

And I've been spending lovely time jumping on the trampoline with my children. My two creatures who astound me every day. {Yes, yes, and annoy me too}. Today we made spiced cookies for their kindy teachers. In the morning we will pack them up into little bundles. And Ari will write a note to tie onto each one. In his strong, confident writing. And we will talk about their teachers, and their new friends at kindy.
And we'll talk about Christmas too. And count how many days to go.
It's pretty low-key here - the whole Christmas thing. But, I do remember the thrill and excitement and anticipation I had as a child. I remember one year that Santa brought us toothbrushes, and a little dolly - set out at the end of our bed. And how each year our parents would say that it was only going to be a small Christmas this year, that there wouldn't be many gifts.
And each year, there was a special new book to read or CD that we'd jump up to put on and listen to. And a new dress - beautiful dresses my parents always choose us. And something else. And it felt like so much to us. Not because of the plastic and the quantity. But because of the time spent in the choosing of a perfect gift, and the thought put into the wrapping. And then the tradition in our family of lingering over unwrapping our presents. All so artistically wrapped, and placed under our little tree - a bonsai, or potted fig tree from the garden. With our little handmade angels hanging from the ceiling.

I do hope to be here again soon. In the meantime, I thank you all for your friendship, words and encouragement over the past year. Happy and peaceful wishes for the New Year.

13 again....

Today is my birthday. I am now 31.
My aunt sent me a sweet card, a cute one she had, that was for a 13 year old - 13 :: 31.

I don't know what it's meant to feel like at 31, can't remember 13. So. I'm feeling okay. 31 is sitting nicely in my head - the thought and idea of it. Not freaking me out.
I spent a beautiful afternoon at my sister's house, with some lovely and very dear and special friends. No kids! Did you hear that - NO kids. I didn't want to leave. I could have sat up and chatted all night to those women. And nibbled on the food they all brought, and the bubbly (we can still call it champagne, can't we, even though we all know it's not). And listened to the music. And smelt the roses over and over again. Well, those I can - Sylve gave them to me - David Austin's. So heady and full and sensuous.
And then I headed over to my in-laws; where my mother-in-law had made a beautiful and simply perfect dinner for us. She makes these lovely baked sweet potato (white ones) in long sticks, and they go all caramel-ey. And grilled veges (eggplant, zucchini, capsicum) and adds them to a rocket and feta salad. And of course a special meat (though since I came into their life, I know that she always makes special care and thought to provide me - the vegetarian - with delicious alternatives).

And then a yummy cake. Topped with fresh raspberries.
And Sylve offered fresh raspberries too, on her little chocolate cake treats.
These are quite a delicacy here, and I gobbled their sweet globules of fresh (the ones that Sam didn't eat!).
So, despite the whinge and mess from the kids this morning; a beautiful birthday. And some lovely and thoughtful and just right for me presents. You know when you only get a few presents, but they are right. That's the best, hey!

Left over cake tomorrow. May have to find some friends to share it with; or take the kids on a picnic (if the rain eases for a moment).

:: 31 :: A year of becoming an adult and enjoying things slower, and respecting myself, and taking more time for myself. Of stopping. Of laughing and giggling. And singing and running. And creating. So much creating is bursting out of my seams; eager to evolve into itself.

Sam turned 35; he still is a young man to me - the sweet person who I met and fell in love with all that time ago.


I just realised that my last post was my 200th. I never thought I'd make it to that number. You know what, a blog is my perfect diary. The easy writing, the technology aspect of it, but more more more importantly the connection and love and inspiration. From all of you, of course.

It's raining here.

We have an art gallery in our loungeroom this morning.
And a photo shoot set up in our front room.
Some new pieces that I've been working on (more info soon).

Going out tonight with some Artists, Bloggers, Crafters & Designers. Should be a fun night.
New skirt to be made. Have had it in my head for a long time, along with many others that I'll be working on over the next few weeks.

Thank you dear friends for being here.
For listening and talking.
More than anything I love a new comment,
a tiny hello,
in my inbox.
From near and far.

Thank you.
Enjoy your day.

beach.... wherever you may be.

PS - are you signed up to Photojojo's Time Capsule? I love it. Each month they send you a selection of photos from your flickr site, from a year ago. A great way to revisit all those digital files.