Saturday, December 22, 2007

Big Night On The Felt

Christmas tree birdie
a partridge and pear, no tree
sheep (my favourite!). Dry felting is my new chocolate.

I am so excited to have a camera. Almost a whole year has gone by without photo documentation. Beau is in for some In Yer Face camera action. And here are some very nice photos of the Christmas goodies I've been making into the wee hours of each morning. So much fun but Oh so sleep deprived. NEVER tackle overwhelming, overstimulating department stores whilst sleep deprived and hungry. I had a hypoglycemic meltdown until I inhaled three Nori rolls.

And here I am blogging when I should be taking the opportunity for a nap. These days it's a choice between crafting and sleeping.

Ooh and I bought knitting needles yesterday. See, working was just getting in the way of all this creativity.

Kevin Rudd eh. He ratifies the Kyoto Protocol (just, what, minutes after being instated??) and asks the US to do the same; he promises to say Sorry; he's already been to Iraq and back and promises to bring the lads home by June; he pledges to protect the Whales; prioritises climate change.....If he keeps up like this then he really is my Dream Prime Minister.

A safe and happy Christmas to you all xxx

Friday, December 21, 2007

Frockless Friday

Going into Crafting Lock Down. Last night a shepherd, a sheep, two felt brooches and a Christmas Stocking. Tonight a Donkey if I'm lucky! We bought ourselves a digital Camera for Christmas! Hooray! More pictures less talk.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Self portrait with Camel. Playing around with the Web cam to see if I can get a decent photo. Apparently not! I managed to nut out a pattern for the camel on my own, but have ordered a book so that I can make animals that do not resemble failed genetic experiments. Not too bad though and such is the way I work. I'm a little impatient when it comes to instructions and tend to have a crack at it alone. A few failed attempts usually lead to success (with some colourful language issued along the way and threats to terminate the lives of the tools involved). I am now however trying something new. Due to time restraints I am all for the blessed instructions put forth by those who have gone before us.

How my title photo squeezed itself into the title frame is a great mystery. Is someone logging into my blog and performing random acts of neatness?? Or do such things simply correct themselves over time? I WAS quite fond of the enormity of the tulip view!

I was going to do the 7 things about me meme after reading Soozs last post, and then I got carried away so to anyone who cares to read a long list of facts about me, go for it. It's mainly just to entertain myself at 1.35am (too many cups of tea).

1. I never forget to eat. Some people say 'I was so busy/tired/excited/depressed/broke/sick today I didn't eat'. I find this difficult to understand. Only in the midst of acute Gastro would I not think about or take measures to acquire my next meal/snack.

2. I speak Danish. I have a Danish name. I am not Danish.However I was married to a lovely Danish man when I was 25 and lived in Danmark at the time so I almost passed, except that now and then I would innocently use a word that was completely out of context and I was often thought to be a little odd by strangers. Therefore...

3. I am very patient with non English speaking people who so bravely attempt our difficult language (Danish very simple by comparison in my opinion).

4. I have lived in 31 different houses, in 6 different towns, in 3 different states, in 3 different countries in the last 29 years. I am now very eager to STOP MOVING and become a jam making, routine loving, family focused and firmly planted farmer's wife. (which means K will have to become a farmer because I am NOT getting married yet another time).

5. I am petrified of singing in public, especially my own songs, but when given the opportunity to public speak something else happens and I secretly (not any more) desire to be a stand up comedian, MC or chat show host...who is ...also a farmer's wife....

6. Despite being apparently restless and impulsive by nature, the requirements of motherhood to provide some level of consistency, responsibility, stability and clear guidance actually occur for me as a joy and a great relief. I do believe I may well have turned out to be rather more self indulgent were it not for Beau's grounding presence. This probably due to having Sun in Sagittarius and a Capricorn ascendant which on a good day can be great, and on another day be bloody confusing.

7. I have a very bad sense of smell. . I once stood in a kitchen with smoke spewing from a toaster and didn't noticed until I hung up and turned around. But strangely I will get a strong and real whiff of something when no one else around me can smell a thing.

8.Before Beau was born I used to swear too much. Especially the F word. I think it's lazy to swear so much. F*** it.

9. I birthed Beau at home in the water. He weighed 11lbs (5kg) at birth. As our second midwife arrived just before second stage, she announced that the baby she had just helped delivered at another home was 12 pounds. I;m glad she told me before we saw the size of Beau's head so that I could compare the task smaller to something! It was a wonderful birth, I loved every minute of it and I'll do it again.

10. I have an excellent memory. If I can see it or put a rhythm to it I can remember it. I have been useful in life as a walking telephone book/ diary/ jukebox.

11. I'm not a City Person. I am a Country Person living in the Suburbs, looking for the farm.

12. I love and feel deeply inspired by the Zen saying " Burn up like a good bonfire, everything you say or do, leave no trace'. It always takes my mind on an amazing journey and then to somewhere very still .

13. Despite how it often seems I am not that comfortable talking about myself . It seems to contradict the above wisdom, however I really love to hear about other people's lives and I do like to tell a story

14. So then I know that the burning up is about not carrying baggage from one moment to another and about coming to everything completely fresh; memories; daily chores; our loved ones; ourselves; everything.

Even the morning after only 5 hours sleep.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Frock on Friday well into Saturday

Not so excited by the colour but it's damn cute
Picnics and luncheons in this one dahhlings.

These are from Unique Vintage
Still looking for some other great Vintage clothing sites.This evening I spent a good deal of time trying to found out who designed the fabulous green shoes that Penelope Cruz wore in the beginning scenes of Volver!( and you were beginning to think I had a life). I should be sleeping given that I need sleep more than a pair of of shoes.

I bought myself a frock last weekend, can't really call it a frock, it's definitely a dress. Green silk. And I bought a green velvet dress/jacket, so gorgeous. Not vintage. Designed by Lyn Van Heyk, local designer of glorious feminine silk dresses, skirts, jackets. I feel self indulgent having bought myself new clothing (thanks to my sweet generous friends who pitched in for a birthday treat) as one does when one is a parent and all manner of other things take precedence over oneself. For the first time in so long I can't remember, I dressed to go out the other night WITHOUT a 'What the hell am I going to wear' Crisis in sight. K found it rather refreshing to say the least.

We are married four years today. We have been together for seven and a half years. We have lived in Melbourne for 6 years. And we have a three year old child. These are impressive figures to a Sagittarian who traditionally never had nor did anything for longer than 6 moths to a year. There must be enough planets in my chart keeping the Sag in me from wigging out again. I'm good with change. Getting better with consistency and routine which I've come to learn are the bedrock of parenthood. And there's enough spontaneity in that itself to keep me happy.

I have one more short shift at work tomorrow and then I am officially 'retired' from the organics trade. The precious folk who have kept me gainfully employed all this time 'sent me off' at our Christmas Do with a poem and a beautiful Matrushka doll. I feel honoured and loved and sad, and liberated by the smell of the winds of change.

K and I have been talking this evening about some of Beau's behaviour and reiterating how important we feel it is to support him through it, not try to change him but hold him and guide him and continue to show him the consequences of his actions in the simplest way possible. We trust that like all kids he will learn empathy with time. We acknowledge that it's mostly about dealing with our own feelings and fears anyway. At the park the other day I actually felt shame and fear, not for Beau but for myself and sometimes that is the only difficult part of the situation. Kids get over stuff so quickly where as we adults can stew over something for an eternity e.g. my third post about the subject in a week!

Moving right along. I answered a phone call an hour ago from three friends I haven't seen for almost 20 years. Two of them live in Melbourne and the other in Sydney. These are people with whom I have had enormous amounts of fun. We sound the same and have the same sense of humour, and yet so much has happened we are different people entirely. That's the aging process I suppose isn't it. I bemusedly watch the obvious changes on the outside, sense the subtle changes on the inside and yet I feel the same as I did at 30, 20, 15......which leads me to think of wonderful teachings that talk about the 'enlightened' 'I' that never changes, that hasn't been created nor can it die. They talk about it being the pure awareness that is always present throughout every experience, thought, action. The sense of self beyond the ego that is familiar. And probably if I tapped into that part of my self a bit more I wouldn't feel the need to sit here past midnight Googling Raimunda's shoes. I would remember that I have a camel to make. I would go to bed so that I can function in the new day ahead. And yea verily all would be well. Good night.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bicycle Love and

It's been 7 months since we gave up our car for bikes and public transport and it has it's joys and annoyances, but mostly I love it - the immediacy of just getting on the bike and feeling free and unencumbered and Beau loves riding on the back singing and pointing out all the sights. I've started noticing the bikes people ride and appreciating things like the Sartorialist's bicycle category - I never really thought much about bikes and fashion, but now that I've been riding for a while I've had visions of myself upon a pink Swedish Kronan
bike (above). A friend has a similar step through retro bike waiting for me to look at -apparently it is black with flowers all over it, pink mud guards and white handle grips. Now there's an excuse to parade new summer frocks. Strictly for mama though.

We went to the city today to see the Myer Christmas Windows along with every other parent and child in Melbourne it would seem, then later to the park to let the kids work off some stimulation. There was a bit of an incident with Beau and some other kids next to a swing - resulted in Beau attempting a face grab and a bite which I managed to intercept. The mother of the little girl who's face Beau attempted to grab sent me some very very dark looks from her bench and I found it very unnerving and wished that I had said something to her - felt like I needed to explain to her what the experience is like for me and Beau, which may have been very helpful. I notice how while I feel protective towards other children and try to prevent Beau from reacting in such a way, I also so feel very protective of him. As adults we sometimes forget that kids can't be expected to control themselves especially when they are tired and hungry and over stimulated and challenged by other kids. I have to remind myself too that it takes time to learn that skill and it's more a case of me needing to read the signs in Beau and change the environment rather than change his behaviour when things have already gone too far. I think today affected me because it's been so long since Beau has done anything like it. I 'm sure this time around it's a lot to do with him resisting nap time (which I always encourage) and then finding it hard to cope in the afternoon because he's actually really tired. Some days our wee ones are more robust than other days, just like their parents. Today I was robust enough not to walk away in tears. It's happened many times though. A mixture of so many emotions. That Beau has often been misunderstood by other parents, has particularly been hard. That I'm supposed to know exactly what to do all the time, and to satisfy other parents' varied expectations is also very hard. It brings up some of my own childhood sadness and so the challenge has been big and also very rewarding because I am learning to trust my myself, my intuition and my parenting, and to trust in impermanence.
There is nothing I would change about Beau. That kind of love feels cleansing, enormous; I can't even say I can be so unconditional with K, though it's my intention and being a mother definitely helps bring that possibility closer. K and I have found real unity as parents together, something we've experienced on many levels and not at all on others. I often wonder how I/we would be if Beau wasn't in our lives. Little monkey.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Craft Goodies

Goody goody this pile of joy arrived yesterday from here.
Web cam cannot do justice to the colour of anything and I can only snap what can be brought up to the computer desk, but at least we now have pictures in this story. Camera but a month away.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Blanket Stitch my world

The beautiful babe went to sleep early and so here I sit joyously, indulgently crafting the night away - making soft trees (see dodgey web cam photo above) thanks to Suse's lead, out of glorious felt, hand stitching and thinking about how many periods in my life I've found myself huddled in the light hand stitching something in a state of meditative bliss. Now with a renewed creative surge; four years ago when I recycled children's clothing and hand stitched felt motifs on everything; and ten years ago at art school when I hand stitched little tissue paper mache shellacked squares into cubes - 480 squares making 80 cubes (people thought I'd gone batty "It's Process Art man") . Each time I sit down with needle in hand I think about my grandmother who embroidered and crotched prolifically. I never knew her as she died when I was under two years old but I feel a connection to her in this way. I vaguely remember my mum swearing at her Singer so I guess the gene must have skipped a generation. Mum had her own thing going on flying light aircraft (THAT gene may well come back through my children, not me!)
So yeah soft trees, what a delight, for the nativity set growing on the mantle. I passed up K's corporate Christmas Do for a Night On the Felt. We have my Work Do tomorrow night and one a weekend is simply enough for me. Did I mention that I've resigned from my job and have but one more week of 4.30am starts and lifting boxes and standing on my feet but sadly simultaneously only one more week of hanging out with wonderful co workers/friends/employers and customers, good food, stimulating adult conversation (the lack of which could be my undoing!) and daily dose of belly laughing. Truly a fabulous job for so many reasons but so often has me exhausted and dreaming of more time with Beau and K and allowing room to reorganise our family routine to provide more time together in general. With neither mortgage nor debts (can I just say the latter one more time.'nor debts' ahh the sweetness of it) there is much potential in this change. We are regularly found drooling over country real estate these days, just to keep our sights on the ultimate goal.
Back to soft trees and Grant Lee Phillips (of Buffalo). Listening to his Nineteen Eighties Cover album which, if like me you were molded by that decade, will bring you much joy and perhaps even a sentimental tear. Great covers like Under The Milky Way Tonight, Love My Way, Boys Don't Cry, Wave of Mutilation and other gems.

Have a wonderful weekend y'all

Friday, December 7, 2007

Return of Chucky

After months of being able to relax with Beau in the presence of other children, all of a sudden the behaviour that had been so challenging for a year and a half has made a come back, which leaves us somewhat bewildered and also quite sad. It may be short lived but it's awful to see your beloved child launch an unprovoked attack on another child's face. Two days running Beau has walked up to a child (the same one actually) and grabbed her by the face leaving a little graze. And he went straight back for another go after being calmly but firmly told how unacceptable it was . We have always gone by the observation that at such times he needs to calm down and that he is well and truly over play time. Beau is actually a very relaxed little guy and can play for hours on his own with great focus. He is prone lately to neediness especially around me and often seems to find visitors and groups of people and kids really unsettling. The last few months have shown his very social side and he has really enjoyed the company of other kids. K and I have been checking in with each other as to what might be going on with us that might have Beau act out again in this way. But when we think about all the kids we know/families we know and all their varied circumstances there are no real consistencies that would explain it. It's very easy to over intellectualise our kids' behaviour I think, given that we are adults and naturally our first tendency is to think from an adult point of view. Often we look at Beau and marvel at how he and children in general just do and say whatever comes to mind, they are that pure and spontaneous and emotional. I guess Beau just has this particular energy that we will have to guide him through and help him find ways to manage it so that he can play alongside other kids. And I guess he will grow out of it. It definitely helps that he can verbally express himself well now and that he understands our simple explanations. It may just take a while for him to learn to control himself and I mean really a three year old can't be expected to do that when half the adults of this world can't control themselves either. Ah dear. Just thrashing it all out here and hoping some of you might have had similar experiences. Always good to hear we are not alone.
I must also say more importantly that Beau is particularly cute and funny and loving and musical and just generally all round fabulous to be with these days. Isn't it just the most miraculous moment when you realise you are having a conversation with your wee one - a little insight into their amazing minds.

Frock on Friday

Every girl needs a black dress but sometimes I feel like I'm in mourning. I think this would do the trick.
I know it's not a dress but I love it and it's the closest thing to a Bikini you would ever get me into! I'd even go the sandals at the pool!
Love polka dots.

Never been big on yellow but this is cute.
Yellow again! Love it with all that lace! I would wear it to a dimly lit jazz bar and slink my way on stage for a standard or two.

is where I found these treasures, so much vintage goodness in this world.

I'm on the hunt for a frock this weekend. 'Tis the time to Frock-on, Christmas Do's and all coming up. I hope you are all enjoying frocking up for the season, even if it's just to decorate the tree.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Felt friends needed!

I say can anyone help me? I'm wanting to make stuffed felt animals for a little nativity set for Beau, a camel, a donkey, a sheep, and anything else that might be applicable. Do any of you have patterns you'd like to share? I'm going to try to make a template tonight but I'd love a head start! Last year I made felt stars and birds for the tree which are simple and cute and I can post the patterns for those should anyone wish!

Check out this great site for making snowflakes. I know they're not exactly Australiana Christmas but they are wonderful nonetheless and don't we all deep down dream of a White Christmas?

My 40th was really fun, not a grand event but spent with good friends, good food and later in the evening good music. We had a sumptuous breakfast at home and in the evening a few of us went dancing. It has been a very long time since any of us went dancing. It was FUN! Everything still works and I awoke the next morning with the lightness of heart and relaxed body that I remember from my dancing days of youth. Even my seemingly unfixable rib has come good from a good dose of hip shaking and arm flinging (well it's not as much fun if you don't dance like a fool!).

Yesterday I gave notice at work. I stood by the phone for some time unsure of my decision because truly it's a fantastic job with fantastic people and I will miss seeing them three times a week. However I feel like I've done such a good thing for myself. this change that is upon us is way over due and with me not working we free up time and space to have more family time and more sleep and the possibility of K finding a new job. He has hung in there for a year at least now much to his credit, and now it's time to move on to something stimulating, better paid and closer to home. He's an amazing man K, who has wisdom and skills that even on a small scale are helping and inspiring people. He finds it hard to know exactly where or how to focus them and I hope he finds what is closest to his heart. I look forward to putting more time into Beau and our shared creativity, and to choir - I want to arrange songs and maybe even write one. And of course there is the second baby who is fluttering in the ethers around my ears whispering 'Mummy mummy, come ON' .