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

changes {Spring in Autumn}


I've been slowly updating and making just a few changes to my blog. Nothing big, but a cleaner and crisper feel. I haven't messed with the template or html as that's too big for me at the moment. Making pretty labels and sidebars is where I'm at! 

Prettiness all around!

If you normally read this in some sort of reader thing (do you? What do you read it in? I'm really curious.... I never read blogs in anything other than at the blog home - I like visiting that way), do come and check out the new-ness.

I found this image from last Spring, in my files. Oh isn't it beautiful. The blossoms. It's Autumn here now, and while I'm loving all the foliage turning yellows and reds and oranges, I'm also loving seeing all the blossoms on Instagram. And imagining our blossom trees that grow near to where we're building our home. I'll be able to see them from my bedroom, and from my kitchen table. And for that reason, I can't wait for Spring!

Is there new-ness happening around you?
Or are you making it happen?
Are you snuggling in ready for Winter?
Or is are you watching the last of the snow and dreaming of those little green buds?
Wherever you are, on this rainy Autumn evening, happy mid-week to you. 

My friends xxxxx

the jewels on a web


If it weren't for spiders, we wouldn't have spider webs.

I took this photo on Sunday morning, and upon posting it to Instagram I wrote these words to go along with it. One of those (rare) times when real wisdom comes out of my mind without me overthinking it. 

But it has got me thinking. In fact, I've been thinking all since then about the fact that if it weren't for the hard, ugly, difficult, challenging things, then the beautiful things wouldn't be as beautiful. Or that if we didn't have those hard things we wouldn't have the beautiful things. 

{Before I go further, I want to say that I like spiders, and find some of them beautiful and amazing and intricate, but they're not something I love - and they still make me feel a bit icky}.

So, remember the next time something is harder, more challenging or real life is uglier than you'd hoped; for jewels to sparkle on a web, we need spiders to build those webs. 

{and that's your bit of wisdom on this Autumny Tuesday evening!}. 

{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?

stitch still life








i stitched these little pieces up this morning.
cleared away the mess on our table and set myself up with some thread, a needle and these scraps of hemp / organic cotton (which do look like linen, don't they).
vague notions on Shibori stitches - though of course, nothing at all like the intricate reality of Shibori. perhaps one day - maybe never. maybe will always be my inerpretation. i think that's ok. actually, maybe that's better.

these two little pieces had a quick photo shoot and then into the jars of dye outside. i had intended on having a cabbage purple, but it had turned brown (i put a rock in it to weight some other fabric down, and it must have had it's own colouring in it! ah well - red cabbage is on the shopping list). they both went in the rusty / eucalytpus leaf solution. a deep dark intense grey. we'll have to wait a few days to see if the stitches worked their magic, as i've imagined or not.....

i'm hoping next week may be a bit less busy (though i doubt it!). perhaps some more stitching and dye experiments.
mind you - i just love the look of rough stitches on raw folded.pleated.tucked.manipulated fabric

what will you be doing this weekend?

{ps - i forgot it thursday, which means it's creative spaces play day}. 

new monkey-play (with easter eggs in pretty foils)


Can I tell you how sad I was to find out that Picnik was packing up it's pretty little rug and shooing away the ants. I relied on Picnic to make my blog headers and other little bits and pieces for online editing. Was easy, simple, quick and do-able with no long training videos or downloads.

So - it was with much excitement that I read on Kimono Reincarnate's blog about a new site called PicMonkey. I jumped straight on to have a try. EASY easy I tell you, and fun and so much excellent stuff there.

Currently there is no collage option, which is what I liked about Picnik, but they say coming soon. So I can wait.

Go check it out for yourself. These are some of the fun edits I did - the heart / arrow one being my favourite, probably because I don't generally go in for that myself though *heart* it when someone else does it....





{sun}day-ing











What glorious sunshine. So good. It warms the soul and lifts the spirits.

I can't believe how much I love love love these sun images. I took them from the moving car (it's okay - I was the passenger!), with the full afternoon sun streaming through. The trees cut the sun into slivers of shafts of light. The iphone works for some things like that as the camera is so slow at taking photos (often I miss the shot I'm after due to the slow shutter speed), but it worked so well in this instance. I want to print some of these - once we have a wall to put artworks and such on!

Of course there was some crochet work happening. I am working on a small collection of these - planning (perhaps) to sell some. What do you think?

Also - my 10 things I love for this Sunday at up on the Hey Maker! blog if you want to check it out.

overview









a small selection of images i've snapped (on my phone) lately.
a small selection of life.
from top -
1)the boy wanted to have a sweet biscuit, i said no sugar, so he crossed out 'sugar' on the ingredient list. i so so so wanted to give him one, just to let him know how fantastic he was, and how much i love the way his head works.
2) a scene driving into town. afternoon. sun setting after the briefest of rain showers. heading on my own, out to dinner + a play with my sister.
3) on our window sill this morning. collections that Sam + the kids brought home from school athletics carnival the other day (which was held near the beach, hence the beachy type plants).
4) on the window sill - blossoms from our stone fruit trees. never any success with the fruits, so i think it's okay to pick and enjoy the blossoms.
5) as #2
6) the bees from HoneyWorld. school excursion yesterday. was quite amazing standing a room with all those hives - a most delicious sweetness of honey-smell.
7) a little piece of coral set into the stonework of the wall in our kitchen.
and below) is a fuzzy shot of those bees. i love the "mess" of their wax. and the colour. i'm so curious about the wonderful, complex world of bees - what an interesting, important creature. do you know much about bees? we have a native stingless beehive at our house (my brother put it there). they don't produce much honey (about 1kg per year), so i'm considering another hive of imported bees so we can maybe 'steal their honey'. i have to do the research about how imported honeybees might attack / take over from the native defenceless tiny little bees.
[talking about bees, look at this amazingness! what a lovely mama bee, making baby nests inside flower petals.].

and the sun streamed in like butterscotch....



just as i was strolling out the door to pick the boy up from the bus stop,
the sun streamed in the window
like butterscotch.

do you know that song? {you can hear it here}*
i think of it at moments like this. with the sun coming out from behind the dark clouds that have been dotting our skies lately. and the strong light shines in. if only momentarily.

this was the scene on our table. with the sun shining on it. and me heading out to the bus.

and of course, the kids come home from school / preschool and things change.shift.the sun goes away. the afternoon fades towards evening.bed.sleep. tomorrow.again.
and some times some moments during that time we have a moment.one little moment, perhaps two or more of contentment or peace or just to be. but sometimes not.

{these lovelies are from outside, in our 'garden'. the yellows are weeds, which burst open. the seedpods are the most amazing little shapes that look like woven baskets holding their seeds}

*I have just decided that I need to now get all of Joni's music, some how or other... raid my Dad's CD draw perhaps!

about today




this morning did not really go so well.
the big boy (my nephew who has been staying with us for almost three weeks now) and i had some not so nice words with each other, in not so very nice voices.
i did not react to his behaviour the way i knew.know i should. i forgot to breathe. to stop and breathe. to stop and remember the little quote on the side-bar of my blog {it's in the side-bar of my brain as well}.


Between stimulus and response there is a space. 
In that space is our power to choose our response. 
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Viktor E. Frankl
 
 
I have to keep reminding myself about how to respond to all situations. Right now, that is my journey, my lessons. I am trying. To remember. Trying to breathe
We did hug, when I dropped him off at school. I saw the tears in his eyes, and felt the tearing in my heart. I tried to smile with my heart, to his heart, with my eye to his eye. 
Later, when I was home, in the few quiet hours between the preschool committee meeting, and then the back to pick everyone up afternoon routine, I did stop and breathe. On my own, in the quiet of the house, by myself. I let the quiet, rainy day wash over me and ease me. I let the guilt go, the anger, the upset at the situation having got to the point it got to. I tried to remind myself that I need to breathe, when I'm in the situation. {And when this afternoon came, and there was still some anger from the big.little boy, I did breathe, and talked to him in a good and calm voice}.
 
Right now, bed is calling me. There are two little children and one cat in there, waiting for me. (With Sam in Brisbane for a few nights, the kids have clambered into bed with me; and let me tell you, I love it - their warm little bodies, feeling their dreams skitter about in their sleep. I have such wonderful memories of sleeping in the bed with my own mama). The rain is falling on our tin roof. A good sound, despite the fact that it means the outside will be muddy, and the grass too wet to mow, too high to run easily in. (And more more more rain means house building ideas slip week by week along....). 
Tomorrow will start all over again. And tomorrow, I will try harder to breathe. To remember my response and reaction.




These are some photos that I took today, while having my lunch. My eggs were slightly more than the just slightly soft boiled that I like them; I think due to stopping to take photos and not peeling them straight away. But they were still nourishingly good anyway. Isn't that an intense orange - need I even say that they are local and free-range (though not our own, yet. I am still waiting to build a chook pen and bring some hens home).
This little purple lilac bloom was the only one of the whole plant. I told the girl to not pick it, to let it be and enjoy it, to see if any more would grow. I was watching while I walked past each day. But she picked it - she does so like picking little blossoms and blooms and bringing them in to place in a glass, jar or other vessel for us to look at. And you know what - each day I was walked right past looking at the mass of flowers (all three blooms that there are!), but not appreciating the detail. Now that they are sitting on our table, I am looking and so enjoying seeing those delicate petals.lines.shapes.colours up close. One looks as if someone has done the most delicate of embroidery stitches along the petal seamline, with the prettiest of thread colours. I keep expecting to see fairy silver dust sprinkled upon it!

tutus + gumboots

this is what ballerina-fairies look like. when it storms she's prepared for all manner of puddle jumping.


I do believe that shoes on the wrong feet does help with the puddle jumping. {Isn't it funny that despite the 50% chance of getting the shoe on the right foot, it often ends up on the wrong one. She's most definitely getting better at knowing, but it's always the cutest reminder when she gets it wrong that she really still is my little one. who-is-not-quickly-approaching-four, thank you very much!!}.

........


i am tired.
ari woke me at 4.30am. it was so light outside (Summer is here, afterall), that i thought it was closer to 6am. but it wasn't.
he climbed into bed beside me. and sniffled and wiggled for an hour or so. got up and down. and out and in. and snuggled up to me. with his warm little body.
at 6am the alarm went off.
we all got up.
sam made coffee. which we sat and drank, in the front room.

mishi got up some time later, while i was washing the dishes from the night before.

                                                                                                                                         
i am tired. off to bed now. to sleep. tomorrow is another big day of things to do. things to plan and think about. school lunch to make. washing to do (and hopefully no rain so it can dry). an end of school afternoon event to make food for (one week left of prep - can you believe that!!!).


{these are taken on my computer camera. no lights in this room. except the glow of the computer.}

peonies + pippi

My sister gave me these beautiful beautiful flowers last week. She brought them home from the market on wednesday, as a little surprise gift.
They arrived as tight buds, and have slowly unfurled over the days to this full glorious bloom.
I love their pungent, earth, musky perfume.
Sometimes we (Sylv + me) say to each other that we don't deserve fresh flowers unless our house is nice and tidy. But sometimes the nice and tidy doesn't happen, or stay for long enough. And beautiful flowers are what one needs to ignore/life with/tolerate the mess that happens with two small (crafty.messy.playful) children combined with the rest of things that happen in life. {yes, my house is a mess again!}.

Thank you Sylv for these very very beautiful flowers. I'm enjoying watching and enjoying them in our front room. And even taking some fun little photos with them.

{these two are fuzzy, due to low light-photography conditions, 
but i love the shapes and lines and colours. don't they look like frilly dancing dresses! 
especially with that ripple of pink along the top edge of the petal.}

We are reading Pippi Longstocking at the moment. I bought it, on a whim, at the bookstore, in mind to keep it for a Christmas gift for the kids. It's illustrated by Lauren Child, of Charlie + Lola fame. The kids are loving listening to the crazy antics of Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking. We've been reading one or two chapters each day for the past three days now, and they both sit and listen with rapture at the funny things pippi does and says. And wait for the great pictures of Pippi rolling out biscuits on the floor, or riding her horse to school.

I love that they are both old enough now to sit and listen to chapter books. Old classics are the best way to go - we've been working on Wind in the Willows (which I think they are a little too young for still). Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox, George's Marvelous Medicine and Charlie are also much loved readers.

this will be.....


...... our new home.
the sunlight is bright.
                             the grass is shimmery and brilliant.

the (tiny temporary) house needs much work before we can move in.
                                                                                           the creek is perfect for exploring
                                                                                and walking and drinking the freshest water around.
and finding lovely little water spiders.
                                                                     and rocks shaped like a heart.
                      i put it in the roots of a tree. i wonder if it'll still be there next time we visit.


As I put Ari to bed tonight, he asked if we could just get up in the morning and go to the beach. We live about 1hr+20mins from any decent beach I like to go to, so this isn't something we do often. In fact it's something we do not often enough. Tomorrow is a school day. So naturally I said no, we wouldn't go to the beach. Then I stopped and thought. ...... and perhaps we will go to the beach tomorrow afterall. And stay with my grandma and make a little holiday of it. Ari, Mish + me (while poor Sam has to stay at home, and go to work). 

{In the school newsletter that came home today, it said that parents were not to just take their children out of school for days off, without written notice, and permission from school. They wanted to make sure that it wasn't an interruption to their education. Can someone please remind the  state schooling system that a little thing called life is education. Spending time with family, doing whimsical, wonderful, important things - like skipping school to go to the beach - is education!
In other school news - we visited Ari's new school on Monday, and I love that they have a sustainability program that includes a wonderful vege garden, chooks and a kids in the kitchen weekly cooking class, where they use fresh garden produce to cook themselves lunch. I'm so excited.}

still life {moments}

I should be washing up the breakfast dishes. And then rushing to the studio to cut some more fabric to send to my machinist. (Cute little camisole-style tops in soft flowing hemp / organic cotton. I still have to find just the right buttons to make the finishing details right).

I just wanted to show you this collection of flowers. Still life. Mishi picks them on her way home from the school walk each morning. Plucking them from the tree, or plant (or directing Sam or me to do it for the hard to reach ones). This is her collection from this week. She adds to it each day, as she brings more home. 

The white bottle brush have just started flowering. And the red ones are near the ending of their flowering. Both from trees on the street - council planted trees. The yellows are sweet little dandelion weeds - so pretty and cheery. The little daisy is right from our front steps, a tiny little plant that sprouts up these happy little flowers, and Mishi loves to pick them. All in a little Turkish tea glass (we have lots of them, for our water drinking glasses), in our bathroom.

Little moments of still life. And pretty things to look at while I brush my teeth or put on my moisturiser. Moments to still my mind. To focus on something for one moment longer than the fleeting craziness that is happening at the moment. 

I hope you are having a lovely day and week. That you, too, are finding tiny moments of quiet and still in your life.

{now back to the craziness of organising two workshops this weekend, and then The Finders Keepers market next weekend. I do like to do everything at once, don't I?}.

butterflies (from Cairns)




The (blue - bottom picture) Ulysses is so hard to capture in flight. And then, when they finally land on a leaf for a rest, they fold their wings in tightly and you can see none of that glorious vibrant blue. They are so fast, fluttering everywhere around and around. We saw one female being chased by 3 males. And many females laying eggs on leaves. 

I cannot remember what butterfly is in the top pic (I'll find out for you, another time, if you're at all interested). The middle one is a Birdwing. {Sam took some video footage of two Birdwings doing their mating ritual, which was stunningly wonderful to watch. I'll upload it once we get home to Brisbane}.

Did you know what happens when a caterpillar curls itself into it's cocoon to go through it's metamorphisis into a butterfly? They actually totally disintegrate from caterpillar to yellow gloopy murk, then rebuild their cells one by one to become a butterfly. If you happened to (be cruel enough to) cut open a cocoon while the process is happening, you will really find no caterpillar, no butterfly, but yellow goop. Isn't that the most amazing, unbelievable thing you've ever heard. 
Well, perhaps you already knew that. But I didn't. And I've always wondered what happened, and how it happened. I never thought about the fact that caterpillars have 16 legs, whereas butterflies only have 6; and a butterfly body looks nothing like a caterpillar body (well, actually I had thought about that before); and how a butterfly needs reproductive organs, whereas a caterpillar doesn't. And also, about the difference between their eating habits - leaves with little mouths for a caterpillar, and nectar with a long probiscus for a butterfly. Totally different creatures; aren't they!

So, next time you look at the humble little caterpillar, have a think about all of that. 
{And the fact that the Hercules Moth doesn't have any mouth or digestive system at all, so only lives for a few days - just long enough to find a mate and reproduce and lay eggs. Or that some butterflies live for days, some for weeks, and some for a year.}

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.

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.)

a sneak peek {kids view}


Here's a few images from the first fashion shoot ever for my first fashion collection ever. These are not the images from the photographer (my talented brother-in-law, Ben), but taken using my camera. Ash  and Ari took them. Sam was the photographer's assistant and I was the stylist / dress-pinner / kid wrangler. And my gorgeous rocker-chic, skater-girl, sweet smiling sister was the model.

 I'll hopefully have the full shoot to show you in a few days. I'm super excited about how it turned out. Like.a.real.fashion.shoot. {does that mean I might be a real designer....}


* I do think these kids are both shaping up to be good little photographers. Perhaps they need to spend more time watching Ben, and seeing the results (hmmm..... guess I should print their photos onto paper, rather than just viewing on the computer screen).