Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Little Bo Peep

from last weekend's glamping trip to the beach

from that rare second when i looked up and saw beauty rather than work to-do

from a family potato digging day

from a beautiful parcel of yarn sent to me by jackie @intambo_yarn

This afternoon just after we finished lunch and were putting our boots back on to go outside, I started making a list of all the things that are going wrong for us at the moment. None of it life threatening (for us), none of it life altering (for us), but still somehow we've found ourselves with quite the load and I thought that saying it out loud might make it stop. Or at least justify the weight I'm feeling on my shoulders and the sick feeling in my stomach.

The sheep got out in a storm and we've spent the best part of two days trying to get them back. One of the girls' close friends has had a terrifying health scare. Another one of our girls is having an awful time with some school yard stuff. We've had a minor health scare of our own. We haven't slept through the night in weeks. We're at that stage where we should be starting to wind down for the winter but our to-do list feels HUGE and OVERWHELMING. The days are starting to close in on us as they become shorter and icier and darker. And the thought of our precious girls being driven to and from school through the dark windy forest in the wet and the gloom doesn't make me feel good at all.

Me and my farmer boy talk A LOT and OFTEN about details and plans and the best way to tackle situations so none of the above list was a surprise to him, but still he stopped me at this stage and told me that he thinks what's going on is life's way of reminding us to enjoy the good stuff. To not be complacent and live without thought, but to live with choices and meaning.

He's right you know. I know.

We need the occasional crappy times so we can really fly high when things get good again.

So instead of adding to my list I stopped and I reversed it. I took a big deliberate breath into my stomach and I closed my eyes. I felt the warm almost winter sun on my face. And as I opened my eyes I saw the last of the liquid amber tree's leaves flutter softly to the ground. And then I noticed the bulbous Brussel sprouts and started dreaming up ways to cook them for dinner. It was just a moment but it felt like an important one.

The sheep are still out, I'm still stressing about the girls but we'll deal with it all. That's what we do.

And just before I go there's this photo. Kim Daly took it for Alphabet Journal a few years ago and I think it may be the only photo I have of me knitting. And I love it. But the reason I've put it here is because Karen Templer of Fringe Association, one of my all time knitting gurus and sources of inspiration, wrote a blog about me and called me her 'maker crush'!! Me! I actually cannot believe it. I have to put it in my blog so I can find it in the future when I question my knitting abilities.

In return I can only dream of and drool over Karen's incredible projects, her vision and her community. Karen has created something truly wonderful and I urge you wool lovers and lovers of beautiful things to check out her spaces - BLOG - INSTA.

And while we're out covering our wood piles before the rain and you are out picking your kids up from school, sitting at your desk at work, pushing a little person on the swing or just waking up - please, please cross your fingers that our sheep do what Little Bo Beep's did.

Love ya's!


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pepper's patchy pocket

It's funny, when I first started writing this blog, almost nine years ago, I had kids at home and spent hours and days and weeks crafting up a storm with them. My sewing machine was always out, my over-locker was threaded, there were scraps of fabric and bits of cotton all over the place, and piles of half made projects wherever you looked. Now, seven years later here I am again.

With Indi and Jazzy off on long days at high school, I've found myself alone with Miss Pepper for three hours of every day.

In the warmer months she hung out outside. Sometimes in the gardens or the orchards with us, sometimes she'd make up her own little games or projects with the animals or the fairies, and then other times she'd take a few apples and spend hours on the trampoline singing songs, choreographing dances and enjoying her own space and time.

But now the days have grown wet and wild and have mostly forced us to shelter inside.

To begin with I tried to get her involved in the projects I wanted to complete myself. She stirred the jam, she wound the handle of the tomato smoosher, she took the clean laundry to whoever's bedroom it belonged to, or she drew pictures at the table while I made dinner. But then one day about a week ago she took herself off for a while and when she came back to me she'd gathered some scraps of fabric and cut herself out a pocket.

A pocket!! How cool.

So I threaded her up a needle and she sewed it all together.

And while she was at it I stitched her a skirt.

(I know that sounded rather casual but the truth is that I haven't sewn anything for about four years. There was dust in everything, it took me a while to remember what was what, and let's just say thank goodness I got my glasses BEFORE I tried to thread up the over locker.)

But I used one of her skirts as a template, I found some old cord in my stash, and then I drew, then cut, then sewed, then hemmed and when I was finished it even fit her.

I made the skirt mixy-matchy and she decided to stitch the pocket on half way to make it reversible.

I did reinforce her stitches on the sewing machine to make sure that it survives its rough life on the farm and at school, but the hard work was all hers.

 She's pretty proud of herself.

The next project was a skirt for the kitten (it was only a matter of time), which unfortunately was too small but looked cute as a kerchief.

And now we're working on this. She chose the fabrics, traced the petals and cut them out and I've ironed on a bit of adhesive webbing to stick it all in place. I'm hoping she'll sew it all together when she gets home from school.

Although initially I was worried about my time and everything I was used to achieving with school aged kids who mostly entertain themselves and each other, now I'm so excited to be working on these cute projects with her. I'm also amazed and crazy happy that my love for sewing seems to be returning. I'm starting small with elastic waisted skirts but I'm dreaming up ideas for dresses, cute zippered skirts for the big girls, pyjama pants and maybe even a quilt.

The more you craft - the more you want to craft - I always say. Lucky we're heading into winter and we'll have more indoors time, hey.

Before I go I just wanted to say an enormous THANK YOU for all of your beautiful messages about my grandfather. I miss him like crazy and sometimes I get such a fright when I remember that he's not here anymore. But I feel lucky to miss him and to remember him and to have your comments to read through too.

You guys are wonderful!

And I'd love to know one thing about you at the moment.
What are you reading, or planting, or sewing, or thinking, or cooking, or knitting?

Woah is that the time!
I'd better be off to pick up my smallest from school.




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