Saturday, January 31, 2015

Thirty first









Happy last day of the first month of the new year!

Happy thirty first blog post of the new year!

Last year, in 2014, I posted 74 blog posts and here I am in 2015 with 31 up my sleeve already, I'm pretty happy about that.

In truth taking on the blog-a-day project over the summer holidays has had its pros and its cons. The pros being that the girls have been around making my photos prettier, we've done a lot more fun activities to blog about, and the routine has been more relaxed allowing for more time for photography and writing. The cons are that my blog ate up a chunk of time every night often making bed-time very late indeed and the fact that the girls are always flitting around me during the days chatting and distracting me meant that the only time I could ever put aside to focus on my blog was after they were in bed, which was never any earlier than 10.30. And while I am a night person, I don't think I am necessarily an articulate at night person. So often the great and wordy blog posts I had planned during the days, would end up simplified and shortened. I'm hoping that I'll be able to carve out a chunk of time a few days a week when the girls go back to school to write during the day and I hope to see the difference.

I think the fact that the blog-a-day made me take photos every day has been a great thing for my photography. There were some days that I panicked at dinner-time that I hadn't shot anything yet that day and made the girls come out walking with me, but most days I captured what was going on in real time and that makes me happy. It also makes me happy that I didn't break my own personal - no Instagram photos on the blog - rule.

Late last year when I did make the commitment to balance my life better by writing a blog a day in January, I also made a commitment to try and start an online Lightroom course. I did the first class the day I made that statement and haven't had a chance yet to get any further than that since. Hopefully that will change when the girls go back to school too.

I guess there were only about three days that I really struggled and almost didn't follow through but now that it's done I'm really am thrilled that I persevered and I'm pretty pleased that I have the record of this chunk of time too.

I'm grateful that you guys came along with me, encouraging me, joining in with the conversation and never letting on that you found my posts tedious or annoying. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, your kindness means the world.

So what happens to my blogging from here? I guess only time will tell. I just told farmer Bren that I have a few photos that I haven't used in this post that could easily be a blog tomorrow and he just raised his eyebrows. I'd like to post a blog two or three times a week from here on in, but we'll just have to see where this year takes us to see how that goes.

So, see ya soon, and thank you, and love.
My first new year's resolution - tick!


Friday, January 30, 2015








Friday night at our place looks a lot like this. It smells of the open fire and of freshly mown grass. Friday night sounds like farmer Bren chopping away at a piece of Blackwood, like Indi practising the guitar, like the kookaburras laughing at us from high up in the tree-tops and like the girls giggling at me rushing around taking photos before we lose the light. Friday night at ours tastes like spelt spaghetti with freshly made pesto and it feels a bit chilly since the sun has disappeared. Friday night tonight is a bit of a relief, a bit of an exhale, the second last late night before school really starts.

Friday night here is lovely, I hope yours is too.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Twenty ninth



On the twenty ninth day of our year Miss Indi went back to school, the wind blew an absolute gale, I got an email from a blog friend that made me cry, in a good way, and we built the smalls a cubby-house on the back deck where they spent most of the day.





On the twenty ninth day of the year we did jobs in the garden, we built a small fire in the garden and we made and enjoyed morning tea with my parents - in the garden.


On the twenty ninth day of the year we started making plans for the rest of the year. We spoke of our priorities, about how to separate money from happiness in our definition of success and of where each of our girls are and what they might need from us as time goes by.

On the twenty ninth day of the year the smalls made a giant chatterbox and laughed hysterically as they read us the messages under the flaps, Miss Indi came home smiling from school and although we probably didn't achieve all that much, I blame the wind, we had a really happy day together.

When we came in to make dinner, this little arrangement was waiting upon the kitchen table - just like that.

So how about you, what did you get up to today and how's the wind at your place?

I hope you get the message you've been hoping for.

Love Kate xx

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Twenty eighth





On the twenty eighth day of the new year I cast off my fourth stripy sister sock and darned in the ends.

And I had a pretty crappy day.

Nothing major, I just felt like I had the weight of the entire family resting on my shoulders and I was crumpling underneath. All the needs, all the moods, all the demands, all the expectations and all the hormones, all on me.

Usually I can make my way through days like today and go and make another batch of plum leather - but today I burnt the crap out of it. Of course I did. Generally I know the right thing to say to make everything OK, but today I only made things worse, of course I did.

So I went to bed for a bit. And I watched the wild wind tossing the trees around outside my window and I felt wilder. It howled so I didn't have to. But it felt good to watch and listen and feel.

After a while it died down a bit and I felt calmer. Then I went and got my hair cut and I felt much better. And finally I came home and made lentil bolognese for dinner and my farmer boy made muesli bars and everything was just right.

I'm blaming the wind. And the return of school. Hopefully tomorrow will be kinder.

May the cake you bake slide out of the tin perfectly.

All my love,

Kate xx

PS Sock pattern and yarn details here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Twenty seventh









We spent the twenty seventh day of the new year touring a couple of beachy towns along the coast. Some we'd visited before and some we hardly knew existed.

Towing our caravan behind us, pulling up when we felt like it, walking around, drinking coffee, discovering history, visiting the op-shops, paddling in the water, coming back to change and have a rest, reading bits of books, knitting rows, fighting over the mirror, making everything sandy, sharing cookies, slipping back into old and familiar and lovely routines.

Even though it's been ages, we couldn't help but notice how easy-breezy it all was. Even though some of us are so much bigger than last time, we couldn't help but fall in love with the road tripping way of life. And even though we have overseas plans for this year, we couldn't help but wonder if we should scrap them in favour of a trip up the east coast. Possibly starting today. There was the most gorgeous caravan park just up from where we were...and we have friends in the next town...

On the way home I thought a lot about it all, what it all means and what we should do with it. For some reason I can't get out of my head how speedy time feels at the moment, and how much we need to make the most of all our situations and decisions.

But when we came home, even though it was blowing an unsettling gale, I immediately remembered why we keep choosing this life. I had that gift of seeing home with fresh eyes and I fell in love with it all over again. It may not be the cruisey, spontaneous, sandy life that we have on the road, it may include small doses of angst as we get ready to go back to the school routine his week, and it may have the realities of house work and deadlines and responsibilities. BUT it has orchards of plums and apples ripe for the picking, it has animals to visit and hang out with, it is surrounded by forests to explore and admire, it has my parents at the bottom of our hill, it has our town and our community not five minutes away, it has veggie gardens to work in and eat from, it has baskets and bowls of produce on the kitchen table, and it has all sorts of other bits that we love.

It's really nice to get away, but it's so lovely to return too.

Wishing you a bit of fun with your what-ifs.


Kate xx

Monday, January 26, 2015

Twenty sixth






On the morning of the 26th day of the year we woke up in our caravan to the sounds of soft rain on the metal roof.

On the afternoon of this same day, after we had farewelled our family and friends, after we had drunk several strong coffees, after we had walked all the way up and all the way down the main street of Queenscliff and after Miss Pepper had finally learnt to ride a two wheeler bike, we had a caravan craft-er-ama-noon.

I can't tell you how much fun it is to have my farmer boy join me in this made-by-hand world. To have him happy to sit by my side for hours in silence cutting and curling and slicing off shavings of wood. For us to both to be so involved in what we are creating that we barely notice that we skipped lunch. And to have our girls coming in and out, chatting, joining us for a bit and then running off to play something else someplace else.

I can think of not many better ways to spend a chilly summer's afternoon.

His spoon was made from the other half of that piece of pine, and is one half of our new pair of salad servers. I only hope that during the crazy school year rush that begins again on Thursday, that he makes the time to complete the set.

We're heading home in the morning but I think we'll need to plan our next caravan trip soon.

Wishing you laughter.

Big love,

Kate xx

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Twenty fifth


Hello lovelies,

It's 11.41pm here. Indi and Jazzy are dancing with the other guests at my cousin's wedding (I can hear Believe It Or Not I'm Walking On Air), Bren and Pepper are back at the caravan asleep and I've just snuck out for five minutes to take a breath and pop in and say hi to you.

It's been a gorgeous afternoon and night all round celebrating with loved ones, frocking up, getting away from home and getting back into Frankie Blue caravan - it's been so long, but she still feels like home.

I hope you guys have had/are having a wonderful day/night too.
I hope you're crying a bit less than I have been though, I'm such a wedding sook.

Great big love,

Kate xx

ps sorry about that enormous pic. I have no idea why I took a portrait photo this afternoon, I don't love how they look on my blog. But it's what I've got so it'll have to do. Until tomorrow...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Twenty fourth






On the twenty fourth day of the year I tried on a polka dot skirt my sister gave me and when it didn't fit, I cut it up and sewed it into a hat.

I also finished my book, did some washing, listened to a podcast, picked a basket-load of plums, did lots of jobs on the farm, shared a cake and a crafter-noon with a gorgeous family, got stung by an angry bee on my nose, shared the first cucumber we have ever grown, wobbled poor Pepper's sore tooth, hung out in the caravan with one of my dearests and watched the second last episode of Parenthood, sob.

After I post this I'm going to go and work out what to wear to a wedding tomorrow, decide what book to read next, and cut my fringe/bangs.

What did you get up to today?

Wishing you kindness and peace.


PS This post represents everything that is wrong with the blog a day. It's annoying the beep out of me but I can't seem to fix it. Miss Pepper was grumpy about her sore tooth and looks sad in all the photos and I can't help but think - so what? - at all the words. Ugh! Sorry. x

Friday, January 23, 2015

Twenty third


On the twenty third morning of the new year I took my camera into the kitchen and snapped six shots.

Well actually that's not entirely true, let me rephrase it. On the twenty third morning of the new year I took photos of six little scenes in my kitchen. Some I felt happy with just the one shot, but others I had to take from a few different angles just to be sure. You know, one from above, one from down low up close and one from the other side of the table. Thank goodness for digital I say, I am such an indecisive photograph taker.

Anyway as I was saying, my kitchen, this morning, six photos. And yes, I did sweep the floor and wipe down the benches first.

Photo one - one massive jar of honey we took from our bees last week and two jars of granola my farmer boy made last night while I was writing my blog. There was a third jar of granola but it was gone by the time breakfast was done.


Photo two - an upside down plum cake. I used the recipe from this blog post, can you believe how small and cute my baby once was.


Photo three - I have a little nest up the far end of the kitchen table filled with craft odds and ends I'm working on, bits and pieces I'm reading and other random collections I'm not yet done with.


Photo four - bowls filled with the fruit we picked on our walk in the orchards last night. I love this time of year, and this is just the beginning.


Photo five - a bunch of roses I picked from Bren's Mum's garden last night. I don't know much about roses but it feels like every time I think they are over for the season, they come back and get better.


Photo six - and of course no scene would be complete anymore without a collection of knives and spoons. The big club on the left is a salad server in the making, the piece of wood is something Miss Pepper is working on, the knife is one of a collection of old butcher knives, and the three spoons are beautiful.

Just out of curiosity, do you take one shot of what you're focused on, or several from different angles like me? Oh and then once I think I've got it I have to start the process off again with my iPhone for instagram. Do you do that too? What's with that anyway?

Love to you guys, I hope your light is just right.


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