Archive for the ‘journey’ Category


I’ve learned so much about family in the past few years.

Family can be blood – or not.  Family can be friends.  Family can be the community you live in, work or socialise with.  You can adopt a family – make your own, or choose to be an orphan within a very large one.

All very intriguing.

Growing up, my own family lived far away from our extended families, but I always remember when we returned for long summer holidays how completely we were embraced and how totally I felt that I belonged.  I always thought that was about blood, but I can see now that it was much more about acceptance and unconditional generosity.

And when you think about it, we are all capable of acceptance and unconditional generosity.

I am fortunate.  I have a big family.  It makes me uncomfortable that I don’t get to see them as often as I would like.  Life gets in the way, and looking after my own little family needs to come first (especially this year), but just knowing they are there makes me warm.  I also have friends that are very much family, and that is such a gift.

Zara drew a family tree for school that was put into a collective book this year, and it made me so happy.  She left a lot of people out, and worried for days about who should have been in there as well.  I was thrilled that she had such an all-encompassing attitude to it.  That friends & their children were family (blood or not), that people we like should have been included.  That random branches grew and spilled over the page.  And it got me thinking about who we let in and why, and about people who may find themselves alone at this time of year and be feeling the sting.

And what I would do if it were me.

I think I would get out there and make someone happy.  Maybe random people.  Maybe giving strangers flowers or leaving books in the park and at bus shelters.  Putting gifts under wishing trees and thinking about the smile on the recipient’s face.  If I had no money and nobody to spend the day with I would volunteer at a soup kitchen, because you would be in contact with so many others who needed a smile on that day because I have discovered, that putting a smile on a strangers face is an enormously expansive experience.

Because we are all family.  All of us.

And we are all blessed simply to be here and breathing don’t you think.


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This has been a sobering year.

I have, to be honest never felt so fragile, and so hopeful and so grateful and so stretched.

Part of this is my own fault.  Assuming that the changes in my life would be changes in my life more than changes to who I am.

I am changed.

One of the things that I liked most about myself was the ability to handle so much, be thinking about the next thing while a task was midway, juggle kids and be planning dinner all at the same time.

Lately, if I leave the house looking presentable, with breakfast consumed, lunches made and school commitments met I am pretty chuffed.  There’s not much time for planning.  I bless the people who invented the Keep Cup most mornings so I can drink my lukewarm coffee on the way to work.  I have not been the most reliable of friends.

It’s not just that I’m busy with life and work and painting madly for this (which I am very, very excited by).  It’s the re-adjustment to working 5 days a week, and the complete lack of time to just gaze quietly for as long as the mood takes me at nothing in particular.

I miss quietly sewing, instead of designing and writing.  I miss being on top of all deadlines and being proactive about chasing opportunities.  I miss being able to pop into school as a class helper without it being a huge juggle.  I miss being able to bake with a little helper and share the love in those gentle moments.  I miss being able to have lunch and a laugh with mates mid-week.

And I am not invincible, which is a scary revelation to someone who thrived on adenalin.  Adrenalin these days leaves me shaken – not productive and decidedly less functional, which I cannot afford to be.

I’ll get back there I know.  And I’m looking forward to just being cruisy, having all legal paperwork over and tidy with no lawyers to speak with and thoroughly in the swing of work (and being able to leave that when I go home).  I am looking forward to enjoying the moment again without feeling like I’m dragged behind it and to not feeling guilty for the things that I would have done but havn’t.  So much guilt on a daily basis.

I am looking forward in the knowledge that I AM in such a good place in my heart and home and just waiting for the rest of me to catch up.  Someone tell her she’s running late – I miss her.

All shade is pattern – there is dark and light and the variations are beautiful, and natural and lovely.  From here I can see the sun and it’s wonderful but I’m loving the coolness of the shade and still sheltering.  Just a little.

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early morning

Reading this, and marvelling again at how fascinating this man is.

Missing them when they are not with me.  But finding it easier these days.  We all are.

Falling in love with Baxter. So tender, so beautiful, so funny and clever. 🙂

Watching the rain outside my window and hoping for good weather for my little man who is going on school camp today for the first time ever.  So exciting.

He has a song all prepared….

Sewing, and sewing and sewing.  Pics to follow.

Enjoying having my first mag out in the world.

Eating lemongrass chicken and thinking obsessively of baklava from here.  Must get some soon….

And thinking in general how wonderful life is in all it’s gentle beauty when you are loved and understood.

Hope life is good where you are too.  xxx

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Dig deeper

You know how sometimes you have something, and you think – wow that’s great, and you lock it away – or stop working on it and just sit back and look at it without pushing yourself any further…

I think, more often than not, it’s good to not do that.  To risk breaking the object/project/functional routine and see where it takes you.

To revel in the exploration and the tenuous balance that the new path brings, because – having to think outside the box brings magic in the form of serendipity.

I must admit to revelling in serendipity.  We drive, and stop at random spots that look interesting and see what’s around the corner.  I take a garment that I have spent quite a while making (obviously nothing perfect) and re-purpose it – loving the fact that unexpected seams and details bring more interest than there would have been otherwise.  Push a painting (or drawing) that is OK but not brilliant and ride the rush that could bring total failure (or a new beginning).

It’s a very freeing way to live – there is no failure, only alternate endings and new paths and absolute integrity because it’s all done ‘on the fly’.

Tonight I came home to an empty house.  Piles of washing as yet unfolded, this morning’s dishes in the sink and beds unmade (we left in a rush this morning).  I went to my cabinet and got out the nautilus shell that my Dad and his partner brought back from their travels around Australia and marvelled at it.  I have wanted a nautilus shell forever.  I held it to my ear in the quiet house and listened to the ‘sea’.  It is beautiful, and precious and breakable and will live in the cupboard, but will be taken out at regular intervals despite the risk of breakage because something like that is too good to just lock away. Don’t you think?

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Outside (first session).

I worried for a while that the muse had abandoned me.  This has happened before.  Despite inspiring classes and time, and motivation I found – when working as a graphic designer that at the end of the day there was nothing left.  That all my creativity was sucked into producing work that was – well – disposable.  And the art making – was not an imperative.  I worried that not doing would lead to skills vanishing and that I would forget the difference between art and decoration.

The muse was – in fact very busy elsewhere with other people and had forgotten I was waiting for her to return.  And it was – in retrospect selfish of me to expect her to hang around waiting until I had enough energy to avail myself of her blessings.   She is – after all a busy woman.

Inside (Second session – still in progress).

I do think that certain activities naturally feed creativity, and others drain it.  For me – having busy hands seems to work.  Having an engaged brain, playing with textiles, exploring the craft zeitgeist and lateral extensions of that movement within the confines of my paid work seems to leave me with enough head-space left over to paint, and the muse – who took a brief holiday, seems to be happy with this time-share arrangement.  Which is – frankly a huge relief.  Not painting would have been an expensive trade-off soul-wise for financial assistance (necessary as that is).

Last Sunday was spent – outside, painting in the sun.  Mapping out a new painting and thrilling at how naturally it was coming together.  Sun on the back, companion painting (and also painting successfully), lunch with legs dangling over the edge of the terrace, a newspaper and good conversation.  A good day and with the residual feeling of rightness about everything at the moment continuing strong and continuing to feed all aspects of life.

Painting inside the outside studio, while a different sensory experience (jumper, heater), and a challenge with artificial light sources is still successful and there is something enjoyable too – about that cloistering and containment, and about exiting into the real world with its chill and dark and relaxing in the house after a session painting in the studio outside it.  In my last house there was a studio inside – where I could come and go any hour of the day – heated, comfortable, kids sleeping, but I did find that hard to turn off from.  All consuming I would paint all day, and night and get up to check and mull things over in my sleep.  Here – I give it my all when I can – which not as often as I would like, but better for my energy levels.

Thankfully it seems to be working.

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In the past year I have had swings about blogging.  Gone through months of not looking at anyone’s in particular.  Had months where any inspiration of any kind was more of an annoyance than an inspiration – a cruel reminder of the lack of time and head space.

I had wondered if not having the drive to blog must mean something.  That it was serving no purpose for me – and was therefore not a priority, and wondered if that was that something that needed a decision – or was an apology needed for readers who were feeling abandoned or worried.  I am aware that blog reading can become an addiction of sorts – a real life soap opera in concentrated form.  I have blogger-friends who I don’t know that well physically who I have worried about from time to time.   Does the silence mean something?  Nothing? Is it a bad thing?  A good thing?

Truth is, sometimes life just gets in the way – which is bloody wonderful.

My journey with this blog has taken me through sewing, knitting, art, family, resettling and thinking out loud. It has been fun, and it is a kind of meditation in itself.  At the moment I am very busy with life – which is very, very good.  There is virtually no knitting, little sewing, family is hectic, art is slowly creeping back into my life in stolen moments (I miss it badly).  I wonder what this space will hold.

I take less photos but am building more memories and am enjoying watching the seasons change day by day instead of just waiting for the next one to arrive.  Hope you are keeping warm wherever you are. 🙂

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Isn’t she beautiful!

A gift from the man.  I just keep taking her case off and running my fingers over her keys.  She reminds me that function can itself be a beautiful thing, and that slowness, is a gift that brings centredness if approached in the right way.  A chance to reflect on the simple act of doing, as well as the process and result – which is often imperfect these days, but lovely nonetheless for its simply being where it wasn’t before.

Booty from a trip to Kyo warehouse.  Geisha poems.  I keep turning them over in my hands, wondering what they say and marvelling at their simple beauty.  Apparently Geisha poems, but perhaps soap labels.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Blooms that I have not much time to enjoy, yet they feed me when I glance sideways and know that without working 5 days, these, and other small luxuries like a beautiful magazine, a wealth of new yarn and a takeaway dinner were completely beyond me most days in the last few years.

I am finding working 5 days (even though they are short ones for the most past) to be quite the adjustment.  I am behind in everything.  The washing, the house-cleaning, the gardening, the shopping for food.  I have not spent enough time in the studio – which needs to be organised again before it is usable.  I am craving the opportunity to sew new work clothes – being bored, bored, bored with black and unable to break that cycle somehow.  The weeks are unrelenting in their pace, and the weekends too fast.  School holidays worry me because I still need to work and stress over what to do with the children who need most of all – in their holidays to just chill and be and recharge.  Silly to worry over things that are not a problem yet – but there you are….

I am craving walnut coffee cake – homemade, but can’t get to the kitchen for long enough for that to materialise, or find the recipe in my immense and happy-making library.  Ditto for the lemon butter which used to be a daily pleasure some months back. The lemons sit – mocking me and knowing they are safe for the meantime.

And yet, for all this, I am happy.  Deliriously and fantastically happy.  Every day. Mostly.  And I am so very grateful for that.


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