Friday, May 11, 2018

wild and woolly

Well hello there, it's so nice to see your beautiful face this stormy Friday morning.

So another week has passed and another set of emotional waves has landed on our family's shores. It still amazes me that in one family five people can deal with their troubles so differently. We span floods of tears and the constant need for direction and reassurance, all the way through to guitar melodies and faint strains of lyrics behind the firmly closed bedroom door. And everything in-between.

And it feel like the weather has come to the party. Since yesterday the temperatures have plummeted, crazy winds, hail, sleet and rain have battered our little farm and it feels like the only safe place to be is sheltering indoors. I've filled the fire box, I'm sitting with my back up against a heating panel, I have a hot water bottle on my feet and a hot cup of tea sitting right next to me. I'm all set to go.

So let's get to this week's photos.

May 5

Late Saturday afternoon we gathered in the garden for what might have been the last market posy pick of the season. Zinnias, Dahlias, Sunflowers, Chrysanthemums and Eucalyptus leaves filled out our bunches. The end of the season was obvious and it was a challenge at times to find decent sized flowers with strong, straight, long stems, but the air was crisp and the skies tuned golden and it felt like a pretty magical place to be.

May six

We spent half of Sunday at the Daylesford Sunday Farmer's Market. It felt like a real family affair with us and our three girls, my parents and Bren's parents. I'll really miss the social aspect of the market when the seasons's over. Especially since our girls who grew up at the markets are now taking charge which allows us to sit back and drink our coffee while it's hot. Winning!

And in the late afternoon I spent time amongst the sunflowers photographing Jazzy in my recently cast off Mirehouse sweater. When I posted one of the photos on instagram I wrote next to it - 'My family bought me the yarn for this sweater when we went away to celebrate my birthday late last year. Together we carefully chose the colour and the pattern to suit what I wear and my farming lifestyle. In January I wound the skeins into balls and then knit, knit, knitted every spare moment I got for the next three months. I'm writing notes at the moment for a talk I'm giving at the Soul Craft Festival on my life with and love of craft, I feel like this sweater tells the story better in stitches than I'll ever be able to in words, I just hope it fits me.'

The Ravelry details are here.

May seven

We picked through the last of the tomatoes. After that we pulled out the vines, rolled up the fences they were trellised to, scattered a green manure crop and then ploughed it all in. Done!

May eight

Poor Jojo had to stay inside because Bob (@trees_to_timber) and John were spending the week at our place cutting down some big trees that were getting too close to the house and blocking out the sun. Look at that log flying through the air just after Bob split it. That'll be my job for the next few weeks...and then to stack it all neatly to cure.

May nine

Jobbo and Bren started framing up my studio. It's progressed a bit since I took that photo. The four walls have been framed up and the entire box is covered in a tarp to protect it from the rain. I spent some time in there yesterday afternoon and then again this morning looking out of the future windows and imagining what it'll feel like within.

May ten

The wood shed is now at the very end of the sun-room which means you don't have to go out side anymore to bring the wood in. It's one of my farmer boy's clever design ideas and so far it's working brilliantly.

On that day I spent a few hours in the forest collecting kindling and bringing in wood and stacking it. Apparently Bren squealed with delight when he discovered the pile. Later that afternoon he told me that for him that was definitely a Love Language . I wonder if I should write to Gary Chapman and tell him to start writing his new book The Six Love Languages; receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch AND split and stacked wood and piles of kindling.

May eleventh

WILD and autumnal in the garden.

I'm reading my sister Abby's copy of Demi-Gods by Eliza Robertson. Abby recently interviewed Eliza at the Sydney Writer's Festival. It tells the story of Willa and her odd bunch of blended family and particularly focuses on the six times she meets her step brother Patrick over the course of many years from childhood into her twenties. I can't pin point the exact reason why I'm enjoying reading this book so much. I think it might be the fact that Eliza writes in a such a dreamy, detached way about unsettling events. I'm not sure. I look forward to reading the rest and seeing where it goes.

And I'm still knitting long rows of my Merricks shawl. The rows are 249 stitches long now and I'm hoping that a colour change is coming soon. Whatever the way, Abbe's Noble Fox yarn is a dream to knit with and Kylie's pattern is easy and just complicated enough to keep it interesting.

Which brings me to now.

There's been a lot of talk in our house lately about finding those things that you love doing, those things that make you feel a little bit better when you haven't been feeling your best. And then making time to do them often. Mine are growing flowers, working in the garden, picking bunches of flowers, knitting, reading, spending time with the people I love, listening to podcasts, drinking coffee... how about you?

See you next week lovely ones.

Love, Kate x


  1. A lovely post as always Kate. Families are a very complex being aren't they. When I'm not working at the Children's Hospital I like to spend time with family (not so easy these days as living in different counties from us, spending time in the kitchen baking & making, listening to music usually whilst in the kitchen. Knitting, Cross stitching, Crocheting and gardening topped off with reading.


  2. What would the end of the week be without you? some weeks, the days fly by so fast I find myself saying (when your blog post pops up) Wow, is it Friday? And it doesn't matter if it's Saturday when you write, I love it. Wild and Woolly was my clothing designer name when my children were small and it suited me fine. I used to get my hair permed and it was 'wild and woolly', i designed the most cute label -a little head with wild hair coming out of it and the clothes were sometimes handpainted but always made by me for long wearing and fun. So the first three words of this post made me smile and gave me fond memories of a time long children are now both in their twenties but a mother never forgets. Loved the new sweater - I wish sweaters looked better on me as I love making them but I'm too short and I just look dumpy, I'm a cardi girl. I remember those cold days in Kiama when I lived there for 15 years. The only good thing about them was being able to knit and wear warm things but I seem to manage it anyway in tropical Brisbane. I'm pleased to be called a 'cold frog' because it means a couple of degrees drop in temperature has me running for another pair of handknitted socks and a cardi hehehehehe! Even if I never wore them, just seeing the socks growing in the drawer delights me. I started a hashtag a couple of years ago #burningsockdesire because I had a burning sock desire for years and all I did was collect sock yarn and never was game to knit it! hahahahahahaha! Now I dye it,buy it, lie on it, fly with it, hide it :-), pine for itand definitely knit socks and have more than I require but hey, that's yarn addiction and I make no excuse for it. Happy weekend dear Kate et al.

  3. I smiled when I read about Brens love language, it took me several years to make my hubby understand that nothing says I love you like a full woodbox does to me. He finally fills it up now without me asking, and usually remembers to bring in extra wood before he goes away for work.
    Good luck with all the emotions, it can be hard work catering to all the differing ways of dealing with things.
    Beautiful post as usual.
    Oh and I am so excited to see what you do in your studio once it is finished.
    Cheers Kate

  4. The 7th love language is surely a beautifully brewed coffee brought to you in bed?

  5. I grew up in a large family so it came to me at a young age that we all process and manage things quite differently. My challenge wasn't the acknowledgement of the reality, but in trying to manage the many often contradictory ways people managed things. It is complicated when people are very different, even when they love each other to walk along the path together.

    Your post as always was beautiful.

  6. I adore your diary-entry style blog posts Kate, They are so honest and beautiful. You have such a good, good heart and your family is lucky to have you. Keep on being you, never falter because you are ACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Such a beautiful pictorial glimpse into your week. The pics of Jazzy are so lovely - lusting over that sweater.
    Seeing all that wood just makes me feel the warmth of a good wood fire.
    Things that work for me: time with loved ones, especially cuddles with the kiddos reading together; a good book; a big pot of hot tea; some time in the nature (when it's not too cold and windy of course!); pottering in the garden.
    have a lovely week.

  8. To think you've been marketing all this time this year and I've not been able to make it and now the posies are done. Next time a priority for me to do one of those things I love doing.... marketing, purchasing good things for my family that good people have grown xx


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