happy making





I decided yesterday that I needed some happy making happen'.....

So - I washi-taped some little bottles. I coloured the water with paint. I gathered some flowers and the most wonderful moss, lichen, mushroom covered twigs. And I made some happiness.
{These moss covered sticks are all around in my garden. Whole trees covered with them. Wonderfulness. I saw something similar in a magazine once; these things sell at specialised city florists for $5 a teeny branch. It's like buying tumbleweed from a shop, or bamboo..... Not that I have tumbleweed, but oh do we have bamboo. If you want some - come and ask!}

I also made some little happiness bags and pouches. Pure goodness these are. Heart swelling happiness. The making of them was fun. The looking at them. And then the possibilities of what else they evolve into. That's super good. I'm learning that being creative is creative inducing - you need to make to be able to keep making. Sometimes the making isn't neat.good.art.your best, but that doesn't matter, because it makes more making happen.

So - happiness is easy to make. If you only try. The process of the making was happiness in itself, but the having and looking at and enjoying. That's pure happiness. Yah to finding some happy on these rainy, dismal days.

It's Thursday. So, here's to Our Creative Spaces today.

And in other SUPER exciting wonderful happiness making news. Look where I'm being *featured* this week - one of Brisbane's Finest Intagramers on The Weekend Edition! Super YAH!!

a very nice lunch indeed

 {love how the sunlight came streaming in, just as i was taking this photo. glorious}


now that Mishi goes to preschool three days a week, we have a few times of quiet at home without constant chitter chatter of the little ones.

mostly it seems that between Sam or me, we are running here and there doing things (into town for shopping, picking up our new fireplace, gas hot water system, helping out at preschool rostered days, doing reading with school kids, helping the school kids in their little garden projects, yoga, mowing the large expanses of grass, doing house plans, planting seeds for a Winter garden.........).


but sometimes we've found ourselves quietly settled in our little home, at our lovely wooden dining table*, looking out the window to where our new house will be built.

we found ourselves in just this spot, on Friday. with the house just tidied and swept, the rugs taken outside and beaten, the beds all made, and the warm late Summer sun shining down on our roof.

a simple lunch of toasted bread {as we have no electricity we have no toaster, which means we use a camp toaster over our gas open flame cook top. camp toast tastes so different to machine made toast}, with homemade pesto {more on that later, a lovely saga i'm enjoying}, delicious farm-bought tomatoes, the last of the Parmesan cheese (Australian + vegetarian = no animal rennet), and fresh basil leaves. of course a sprinkling of freshly cracked pepper and pinch of Himalayan pink salt.

combined with the bird calls, the warmth of the sun (we've had a lot of rainy days here), the cicadas, and the scent of the basil. looking at these trees that i am loving more each day.

it really was a very nice lunch indeed.....

{and a few photos of the delicious, juicy lychees we've been nibbling on lately. i'm really loving this spot on the table; lighting our candle for dinner each night,  and adding new flowers, stones, collections to enjoy.}



{this aromatic basil has part of our life for the past few days. lovely lovely}.
 

{camp fire toast..... yum yum}
 

{a corner of our little kitchen}

*we found it under our last house, covered in mud, with an ugly laminate cover that we removed and sanded back to beautiful timber.

new spaces


We have visitors staying at our home, for a few days.
Some very good friends from Cairns, who will be moving back to Japan (via a white + cold Christmas in Canada).

They are staying in our sun room.guest room.office space.
As I can't be separated from my dear little computer (mainly you my little blog + email) I have moved myself out of the office space and set up in the front room.
It's nice having a new space to be in. With no piles of (unpaid) bills and bits and pieces of stuff piled up beside me {like on my proper desk}.
The mirror behind is a little distracting. I am not so used to looking at myself, or having to ignore looking at myself. But perhaps it's not a bad thing to do for a few days. I did take these photos last night, as I could see myself in the mirror from the glow of the computer screen.

Anyway, I just wanted to show you my new little space that I'll be occupying for the next few days. Well, for moments over the next few days anyway. There's a bbq to organise, and a market to pack the car for, and a workshop to present {I'm excited as I'll have a good friend there, who I haven't seen for a while}.

I do quite like this little set-up. I enjoy being able to rearrange my house as I like, each day or week. Sam is used to coming home from work and finding things have been moved around. A whole room rearranged in one day. Isn't that fun to do.

Without the computer, this table in our front room looks slightly glamourous. I've been enjoying coming in and seeing it with tidy surfaces and spot to sit and read.

spring from the back verandah







these are all taken from my back verandah. the people who lived here before the ones before us (many many years ago) had the fantastic foresight to plant some beautiful trees to fill our backyard. something that renters often forget to do (me included, as i thought we'd be out of this house in less than a year, but we're still here). 

> the pinks and greens of that new soft blush. i'm not sure what tree it is, but the new leaves and the flower buds have been lovely so watch. 
> tender pale green fresh leaves of the silky oak (top pics)
> the brown flower bracts - such a great shape for drawing.

spring is showing itself throughout the city in so many colours and shapes and aromas. though, if the weather week is anything to go by, summer is already pushing in with its sticky heat.

scenes from the studio

oh what a fun (and tiring) day today. at the studio.

so lovely to hear Nina walking in the door, all smiles and glowing friendliness. she's like that you know; i do feel quite lucky to have spent this time working beside her (and learning so much from her too). i will miss her quite a lot when she leaves on her big over seas adventure.


we chatted and worked and drank tea and ate a strange assortment of food (dolmades, salty oily seaweed and funny Asian sweet biscuit things). i used Nina's cutting tool - oh.so.fun - and quick as well, compared to the blister i gave myself cutting layers of fabric on monday.

i did some printing this afternoon. but no photos of that, as i'm sometimes a messy ink.everywhere type of screen printer. just the way i am, i guess. but it's so good and easy to be able to just print when i want and need.



these few photos were taken in the warm afternoon sun. isn't that lovely light streaming in.
i love looking out the window and seeing the church high on the hill, and the cubby house (in a neighbour's yard) with the Tibetan prayer flags in the foreground.


i'll be the first to admit that our studio isn't the most pretty place (i mean, look at that carpet!), and sometimes it hasn't been the tidiest (i think Nina + i decided we could easily live in our piles of fabric and designing ideas and mess; it's not like children or family or regular day mess, and it's super nice to not have to pick things up every day - for them to be exactly where they are when you return - and much more productive too). but it really is just a perfectly wonderful place to spend time in, to work in, to be creative and productive in. it's quiet. sometimes oh.so.almost.too.quiet.

i do really like having a studio to go and work in. i highly recommend it to you!

pomegranate





i bought this yesterday, with the intention of photographing it alongside some amazingly purple potatoes.

instead i took it the studio, and ate it. i took these few photos before my camera ran out of batteries. (of course, on the day i remember to take my camera and to take photos it decides then to run out of batteries. they're on charging now - so hopefully there'll be some studio images this week).

this tea pot (coffee pot?) is Nina's. it sits in the kitchen in our studio. soon she will take it away with her, when she leaves on her overseas adventure. i forget who it's by - the artist. but isn't the design just quite lovely. and the colours. 
i've got a geranium in my sketch book from many years ago, that i've been looking at this weekend past. perhaps there'll be a geranium print in our collection. most probably, in fact. but not quite yet. 

i thought a few things about pomegranates, while i sat on the back steps at the studio. in the quiet. and the hot hot day (it's rained now, this evening, so the night has cooled down).

i gobbled the precious little jewels of colour, the bursts of popping juice. threw them into my mouth in quick handfuls, and enjoyed the lusciousness of them. and the colour. 

i even stamped a print onto the kitchen (linen) tea towel. that bright intense jewel red actually printed purpleish violet. we'll see tomorrow if it stuck, or is only a faint impression of colour.

i dreamt of planting pomegranate trees on the land, but perhaps it's too wet there, so i can have them to pluck from a tree. to eat at the jewels. to mash them into my summer drinks. to sprinkle them over my salads. to use them to dye my fabric. to photograph them. to sit and think about the beauty of the pomegranate fruit. 

do you know the story of Persephone and the three pomegranate seeds she ate in the Underworld, when she was kidnapped by Hades? i surely would have spent the rest of eternity in the Underworld, and not running in the spring fields, based on the amount of seeds i ate today. (some interesting reading here, here, and look for Bullfinch's Golden Age of Myth & Legend at your local library, an absolute favourite of mine.)

{ }





It's suddenly turned into a busy week around here. I'm tired and feeling a bit worn. But my brain is going into overload about all that I have to do in the coming weeks.

Why have I had six months of basically day-to-day quiet and nothing; and now everything at once. Yes, go on, tell me - that's the way life works. All or nothing, isn't that what they say.

This week we've ::
Visited the art gallery and sciencentre again;
Been to a (long) fun robot birthday party;
Worked at the studio - good quiet, productive days, with lots of important kid-free thinking time;
Learnt to ride with no training wheels (Ari, not me! He turns 6 in a few short weeks, and Sam has been spending all his spare helping Ari take the step to the big bike we're giving him for his birthday);
Been to the ballet (Sylv + me - was good, but not amazing. A long night. But very very lovely to be out with Sylv and have a bit of sister time - even if that includes making fun at all the other drivers in the parking station who can't drive, and are too important in their big black shiny cars to let people merge!);
Seen a movie (Sylv took the kids today, while I went to the studio and had some meetings. They really enjoyed it, and have talked half the evening about the silly funny storyline);
Finished a book (just in time for the movie to come out.... I quite liked it, and spent moments of today thinking I had a story to back to, then remembering I'd finished it. Sometimes I don't like ending a book - I like that part of being caught up in the story);
Ignored the washing and house tidying...... perhaps tomorrow I'll find just one moment or two to do a tiny spot of cleaning. I do think the school uniform is washed and dry for school on Monday, at least. Perhaps.....

These photos are from last week - when the house was tidy for more than one day. {Did you hear that - tidy for longer than one day....!!!}. One end is at our front door - with our shoe shelf, (one) fabric cupboard,  a book shelf with my smaller crafting books. And at least one or three bikes at any given time. The other end of the front room is a little play space for the kids - their kitchen , cafe + shop (computer + scales and other important things they use often.)

I hope you are all faring well. Enjoying your days or moments of sunshine. The smiles and laughter and tickles from your children. The quiet times of crafting or baking or thinking or being. xx

sunday afternoon + giveaway winner

I've been sick for the past week and a half.
Keep thinking it's over; but it's one of those flu things that just stays around.lingering.
Lots of night time coughing.
Sam's been sick too; yet still having to go to work every day. Urgh. He's a good man.

Today I have finally have the energy to start getting the house back into order. And get the back-log of washing on the line. Perhaps by tomorrow the house will be looking good again - livable in.

We've spent a beautiful day of picnics in the backyard with my sister + nephew. Riding bikes, chatting, playing bubbles with the next door neighbours, drinking dandelion in the last patches of sunlight on a late Winter afternoon.

Sam and the kids have walked up to the bike shop. They're looking at a new bike for Ari's birthday (in October). He's finally getting the hang of riding, and needs a bigger bike. Mishi will get his old bike (painted pink, purple + silver; as per her request!).

I'm sorting through things (fabrics and associated stuff). Will be working at the studio tomorrow, and need to have everything on hand over there.

Listening to The Audreys.
Loving the lavender and jasmine that the kids are bringing into the house, and putting in little jars of water.
Enjoying this bookshelf and it's collection of things that I've recently put in the front room (during one of my little rearrange-moods).
And this crochet snowflake I made a while ago, and have hanging in the front windows.
Being inspired by this sea quilt. (Perhaps I'll finally get Ari's quilt started.....).
Flicking through the July/Aug issue of VogueLiving that Sylv found at the airport (on her way home from Tasmania a short while ago). {Sorry person who left it accidently and wanted to read the mag while the plane - I hope you enjoyed looking out the window instead}.

And the winner from my tea towel giveaway. (Sorry it's a week late - the flu headaches and drowsiness have been too consuming). Random generator has declared the winner to be Kim from Udessi.

*Come back soon, as I'll have another giveaway later this week.

creative :: tidy + sunshine

This morning I completed Step 1 {finish tidying + sorting my office corner}.
The sun shining in the open windows has made a big difference to my mood. Thank you sun. Thank you also to your lovely, supportive comments. They helped me clear my mood away (even if only for this moment).
So, with a fresh and clean desk I'm feeling ready to tackle the other things on my list. And then move forward to getting the ideas off the sketch book and into real life fabric. Isn't it funny how a clear desk / room / head space makes you see so many possibilities that you couldn't see through the cloud and fog of the mess. 
It's also strange how much time I procrastinate about doing the clearing, cleaning, refreshing and how little time it actually takes. {I think I spend way more time looking for clothes in the pile, that if I folded them all and put them away each washing day!}.

Things I need for my desk, which will hopefully feature in next week's creative space.
  • a soft fabric basket, from I Love Patchwork, for my camera, phone charger, cords, etc to sit and possibly one for "little bits of pieces" to sit before I find a home for them, or get over the needing to keep everything gene.
  • some new pens! I mean seriously, the kids keep on taking all the pens I ever have.
  • a computer free morning or late evening writing some real life paper letters to friends and then actually posting them out.
  • getting all my paperwork in order, before tax due date. (our tax year ends June 30th).
  • a yummy warm cup of Kukicha tea to sit on my sweet coaster.
 I also need to get the little kids table fully kitted out, so that Mishi can sit with me in this front room and we can both work together. Side-by-side. Some new pencils and a good way of keeping paper from ending up all over the house in tiny little pieces are necessary. And perhaps some pegs to display their finished artworks. {Thought perhaps this won't happen until the new house - the current set-up works pretty well too; bringing pencils + paper and cleaning up at the end of the creative time}.
There's a stack of creatives over Ms Kootoyoo's place. Though of course I have too many things to complete before the school bell rings, so I haven't been able to visit anyone. {must wash up before I blog-hop - new mantra to add to this great mantra}.

Enjoy your day my friends. xxx

just a few corners

I'm heading off to bed.
Have a course, in the city, tomorrow - so must get my brain development sleep!
These are a few photos from the corners around where I sit at my little computer.

+some new notice boards I've been working on, some wooden, hand carved Indian printing blocks
+some of my own hand printed 'Potter's Daughter' fabric,
+my Buddhas, Ganesh, a funny lion/dragon thing I bought many years ago in Thailand, and a little soldier from a collection of my mum's things.
+a collection of seedpods, bowls, tins, boxes, shells and (small) animal bones
+an embroidery of one of Mishi's drawings - a shark
+a little embroidered brooch from Rebecca {who has a little giveaway on her blog at the moment, of her super sweet tissue pouches}.

Good night my dear friends. xxx

weekly list



I think that if I put it all down here, then I may hold myself more accountable to getting it done. Do you think?
Anyway, here's my weekly planning list. {A short while ago I moved myself out of my office in the small side room, and moved the kids play room in. I still haven't totally finished setting up my new office space in our front room - which means I have nothing hanging on walls to put my planning lists on - so I'm putting it here}.


Sunday ~ This morning I finished tidying the kids play room (yet again! Mishi has hit the "cutting paper into a million pieces and leaving all over the house" stage, which is quite annoying to constantly pick up). This afternoon I need to continue tidying their bedroom - which is a crazy mess at the moment. I'd like Sam to come home (from his weekend away) to a tidy, clutter-free, clean, happy house. Space to live and think and work.
Tonight I'm going to cut some pieces out for some new sewing I've got to get working on.
Monday ~ We have go down the street (to the local suburb), to post some parcels. And also look at a little empty shop for something special I'm planning with a friend (more on this later). We also have to head out to the dreaded Spotlight, to buy a long dolls needle to finish making my Disco-Bots (more on these later, when they're all finished). These Bots have been in the works for a tad too long, and I need them finished before the next kindy day (Friday), as these are meant to be kindy friends.
We're also going to try and squeeze in some watercolour painting time - but that will depend on how slow the service line is at the fabric shop.
Then we'll pick Sam up when he gets back into town, after his long drive home.
Tuesday ~ I'm hoping to spend the day sewing. Making something for Craft Hope's Haiti shop. (I'll let you know once I've sent the details off to Jade). And also some new projects for wholesale accounts and my online store. Or - perhaps we'll spend the day just hanging out and playing and chatting, as a family (Sam has a week off work, which will be lovely).


Wednesday ~ We're heading to the State Library for a day of fun with the kids. My older sister and her two creatures will be visiting for a few days. Between my younger sister and her creature, my older sister and me there will be five kids and three adults. Lots of fun!
Thursday ~ We're all (eight of us) going to see the English National Ballet perform Angelina Ballerina. We plan on dressing up, and having a beautiful day out at the ballet. Picnics and performers. {Some new picnic placemats might need to be sewn in advance for this event}.
Friday ~ The kids will be at kindy. I'll spend the day sewing and working on new designs.
Saturday + Sunday ~ As yet unplanned, but will probably include getting Ari ready for school (buying backpacks, making library bag if the fabric has arrived yet). Also, some housework may need to unfortunately be involved somewhere along the line... Perhaps even a visit down to my grandmas house (the kids' great-grandma), who we haven't seen for a teeny bit too long.


Does that sound like a week jam packed with too many things? Well, that's life at the moment. So much happening in my head, so much needing to happen every day.
Please don't think too badly of me if it doesn't all happen as planned. Life gets in the way much too often around here, and I can't always control what happens.


These photos are of the clean play room. I am hoping against all hope that it's clean tomorrow!

still life :: night



moving pieces of furniture
in an effort to
keep things cleaner
tidier
less mess.
the kids room being slowly rearranged
pieces moved into our room
books shifted
onto new shelves
to be touched
and read.
means new moments and spots and still life
new vignettes
tiny places for my eyes to rest
and be happy
or content
or inspired.

*lamp is one of our prototypes with our fern. all ceramics are op-shop finds - little pieces that i loved the moment i laid my eyes on them.

corners









I just found all these photos, saved as an unpublished draft. Some corners of my {very tidy} home. Of course, since taking these photos about 5 weeks ago things have changed a bit. I'm positively sure that new flowers have bloomed around the streets, to be picked and enjoyed (or simply enjoyed on the tree). And, well - the house is a whole lot messier at the moment, which I suppose is why it's so lovely to look at clean photos. These ones are mostly taken while we were still unpacking all our junk.
{I am totally baffled by the formatting that blogger is imposing on these photos - this new way they have of doing it is good, but interesting and seems to have a mind of it's own at times.}

glass

One of the big things I'm loving about this new house is all the little spaces for us to fill with all our things. In the last house everything was jam-packed onto a few (mainly one) shelves. And turned into clutter, rather than beautiful things to look at.
Now we have this sideboard, which the previous owners left here, that is topped with a cluster of our collected bottles. Both Sam and I like old bottles quite a lot. Discovered all over the place, some dug out of the dirt at houses we've lived in, some spied at the back of a shelf in an op-shop, some given (generally by my parents, who understand our old glass bottle love). With the little mirror at the back, it's all green-whitey reflections. Right now there are some orange nasturtiums that my nephew brought me for our house warming party. I can see it from where I sit right now. More corners coming soon.

empty

on the last day of our old house, i took some photos.
wanted to remember our space.
where the kids spent the first years of their life.
where sam and i met each other, and grew to know and love each other.
where our life was.
the rooms look so familiar - i chose and painted those colours.
yet the rooms look so foreign in their emptiness.
no noise and laughter.
none of our collections of us, our life, our things.
trying to view these rooms, this house, in an unemotional, unattached manner.








this is the before photos, with all our "pieces of life."

today

mishi sitting snuggled onto my lap. me with warm woolen jumper (with holes that need fixing), her with absolutely nothing on. climbing onto my lap to snuggle. and saying 'i want to be here always'.

learning a new house.
where the light switches are.
how to turn to taps in the shower to make it just right.
the different noises at night time.
the unexpected colder-than-our-old-house feeling.
the lots of extra space to be in and live in feeling.
the boxes that we are still unpacking.
the new corners that we are making
in our new home.
learning the best spot to catch the morning sun.
trying to find fairies in the really big backyard.
sitting on our new back verandah and imagining the parties and gatherings we will have.
setting up our new (bargain) screen printing table.
slowly slowly slowly sorting out my fabric and paper and pieces
my little studio sewing room.
still trying to find my camera cable connector - photos tomorrow.

and tomorrow.... more of the same.
as well as the first day of my six-week challenge to get myself fit and healthy.
and calling customers and filing and organising.

and dreaming and planning and wishing and planning and doing....

back soon.

if they tried any harder



Our home is pretty damn tidy at the moment.
We have spent the past 2 weeks packing up, and 'decluttering'. And now, refreshing and reinvigorating, and clean. Even the windows have been scrubbed, the cupboards have been cleared out, the junk tossed away. (Just want to say a big big big thank you to Sam for doing so much of the work to get this house looking so good; he's my hero).Our house is officially on the market now. We had our first open for inspection yesterday. And it went pretty well, just have to see what happens now. Play that waiting game.
In the mean time, we have to keep this house tidy. Not just in case someone wants to view it at short notice, or that we have another inspection scheduled for Wednesday night. But for our sanity. For Sam + me to have a few moments of enjoying the tidiest house we've ever lived in. All styled and fresh.
We almost need to kick the kids out of home to keep it looking good.
When they came home yesterday (after a sleepover at Grandma + Granddad's), they took about 2.5 seconds before they were dragging things out and pulling things over. And today, well, today hasn't been too much better.With Sam at work today, it's only me to fend them off the toys and books and the cooking stuff and the clothes (Mishi is a little fashion princess, who needs at least 4 changes of clothes a day). Only me to ask and beg and plead and moan and cry and hope hope hope. I've pretty much given up; best to let them wreak havoc and then do one big clean-up at the end of the day.
But, please can someone tell me - how do they manage to make such a mess, with nothing at all. A book :: a scarf :: an abandoned outfit :: a breakfast/snack/snack/lunch/nibble bowl/plate/cup :: ice cream container boat :: office :: library :: shop :: drawing :: broken drinking glass (okay, this one's vacuumed up) ....... all scattered and strewn from the front to the back of the house.

If they tried any harder, they really couldn't do a better job.

on a thursday :: roses and cakes

this vase is right beside where we walk past, i bend down many times a day to inhale the intoxicating perfume.sylve, my sister, who gave the flowers to me for my birthday, saw them today and said that even though they haven't lasted a long time, they were worth it.
the roses have started dropping their petals.
the girl bent to pick these petals up, at the same time that i reached for the camera to take photos. sometimes still life that i see gets caught up in the flurry and movement of life. can't be helped.
yesterday the boy made some muffins / cup cakes / baby cakes.
at the age of 4.5, he is already a very talented and intuitive cook. he does lean towards sweet things, though he often makes great savoury snacks.
he collects everything needed to make the cakes. remembers the general guidelines and ingredients. pours in a little milk and some cocoa, with sultanas and berries, sometimes coconut, and flour. spoons them into the little cases. and we put them in the oven for him.i am slowly trying to teach him to clean up when he is finished.these were a little tough and chewy. when i said that perhaps it was because he had put the flour in first and mixed it too much, he said 'i didn't know', as if a 4.5yr old should know things like that. but i think next time he will know that.

take notice - if you don't feel your children afternoon tea in time, they will make it themselves! some days i only have to make dinner around here.

new corners




been moving things about a bit here.
fluff stirred up in corners, and resettled down somewhere else.
cupboards moved to that room
boxes pushed under there
things piled up here
and then

a
new
tower
for me to
look
and remember
and smile
about.

recently my aunt passed this piece along to me
made by the hands of my mother
made by
the hands
of my
mother

those perfectly formed
flowers
and
shapes
embroidered
then the sun
crocheted out and out and out
those rings of bright
colour
and love.

a corner,
for me
to smile.

**all photographed at night, under very low light conditions.

the cold is creeping in

It's starting to get colder in the mornings now. And we've even been pulling this little blanket over us while we sit on the couch during the evenings.
Winter is slowly slowly approaching.
We are still having some warm, not quite hot, days.
But definitely it is getting cooler now.
Sam swapped our rugs over in the lounge room today. Doesn't it look so warm and cosy in here now.These are some lovely seedpod things that we brought home from our walk the other day. I've loved seeing these pinkish shapes in the trees lately. With the yellow flowers, they look amazing together.
Keep warm. xx