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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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Kit

and

and

Rob Ryan (oh how I love Rob Ryan) plus clothkits plus a few hours sewing.  Heaven.

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?

square

Patchwork with the kids is a lot of fun.  Last year – for the birth of a special family baby we made a quilt – the kids came to help choose the fabric, then I cut it all into squares and we took turns piecing it on the floor.  It turned out beautifully and was a special family gift they were so proud of.  I just wish I’d taken a photo….

My girl is such a gift.  So funny and creative and helpful, and I feel that this year – she has had the short end of the stick a bit.  All those creative things we used to do just don’t seem to happen now she is at school and I am at work.  So when she was invited to a cupcake making party last weekend we spent the morning raiding the scrap bag and found some of the leftover squares of patchwork, added to them with some choices of her own and made an apron.

Pardon the mess – we were too busy to clean up.

4 squares made the top, 16 the bottom and the ties were all made from some binding I had floating around from an earlier project.  The reverse of the patchwork is an old pillowcase that ripped a few weeks ago (the cotton was too beautiful and soft to just throw).

She loves it – and loved that she helped make it even more.  And the cupcake party was fun I am told.

rocking

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.

hello

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. 🙂

In some ways I lament the loss of physical community that humans (for the most part) need.  Like  most people – I tend to lock myself in – coming out when I’m good and ready to play on my own terms.  Lazy but comfortable.  I love immersing myself in things that fascinate and delight, and my favourite social/unsocial pastime lately, is markets, which Melbourne thankfully has in abundance. The Melbourne Design market was on last weekend and it was amazing.  Music pumping, the scent of vegetarian paella wafting through the carpark and some fab stalls.  And upstairs Fed Square’s Mark it.  which was pocket emptying in the nicest way.

LOVE a good market.  Strong design, knowing your money is going straight to the person who made it, and seeing how happy both parties are. Special thing.

I think that we all have something wonderful tucked away just waiting to be made whole in our hands. Something original and wonderful that is a gift just by being in the world. One way to get in touch with this amazingness is by participating in a swap.  Sooz recently put the call out for participants in a ‘usefulness’ swap.

I love a good swap.

I love considering what to contribute.  The making of the object(s), wrapping them up and sending them off and then the anticipation of what will come back.  Mostly I love the sending off.  That is just such a thrill.  I almost forget that there is something coming back until there is a parcel delivered and that is a beautiful surprise.  The theme of this swap was to provide something that was eco-friendly.  I approached my contribution laterally and made a neckpiece for each of my swaps.  All different and hopefully a nice surprise.  They were made of Fimo which was mono-printed using newspaper so that they took on a light print.  I forgot to take photos (did I mention I was excited about sending them off) and a few of them were black with a slight sparkle in the mix.  They were wrapped in bags made of bamboo wadding, or the softest grey polar fleece I have ever felt.  I hope they found happy owners.

Thank you to Dee for a crochet dish cloth too beautiful to use for its intended purpose, Jo for a pincushion (I so needed a new one!) and drawstring bag, Ellen for a wheat bag (again – so needed!) and some beautiful fabric,  Sonya (no link) for some heavenly Garam Masala and handmade chocolate soap, Handmade lipgloss and some lollies all the way from Germany from Nicole (no link),  A cotton facecloth and soap saver from Abbington (no link) which is again too beautiful to use but I will, Bookmark from Nikkishell,  Eco travel lid from Breanna (no link), A marketbag from Rachel, and a Printed linen teatowel from my friend Alison.

Each item delightful in itself and because it was given out into the world with a happy heart and with a smile.

Each item lovingly turned over and appreciated.

Thank you ladies – I hope your ears are burning, you rock. 🙂

And thanks Sooz for organising the swap.  It was such a lovely thing to be part of.