Friday, June 8, 2018

in june

Hello lovely ones,

I've had a bit of a nostalgic week this past week. In preparation for my presentation at Soul Craft festival tomorrow I've spent time going through old photos, old blog archives, old projects, and really thinking about the gifts that living and sharing my craft-filled life online have given me. It'll be nine years this month since I started posting to Foxs Lane. Nine years!! 

And although blog friends have come and gone, and  although the trends have come and gone (hello Kirsty's granny shrug), and although my style has changed a million times (I'm no longer wearing skirts made from tea-towels), and although our girls are so big now that it's hard to even remember that I used to be able to knit them a cardigan from one 200 gram ball of Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton, and I could go on and on...the one constant has always been community. You guys. Us.

Creativity, connection, community.

Our stories, our opinions, our skills, our families, our makings, our ups and our downs. So although my talk will be mainly about my relationship to craft, I can't help but feel it would be completely different, and not nearly as fulfilling, without you guys travelling along beside me.

Which is why it meant so much to me when I opened my post office box this week to find a parcel from Rhonda at Down To Earth, one of my favourite bloggers and possibly one of the blogs I've been reading longest. It means the world to me to think that Rhonda thought of me when she came across this book in her bookshelf and knew that I'd love it. It felt comforting flicking through its pages at 3 this morning and wondering if she was awake and reading too. But the best part of all is, after all these years of reading her typed words, to read her inscription in her own hand writing. 

Thank you dear friend. xx

june second

As you can imagine, a huge chunk of this week has been spent preparing for my presentation and my sock knitting class at Soul Craft tomorrow. I've written questions, thought of answers, found diagrams, prepared instructions, printed pages, taught two friends, gone through old photos and blog posts, had my hair cut, found an outfit, knitted lots of samples, endured the crazy tummy butterflies, breathed deeply, mixed some essential oils, questioned my ability and my authority, written lists and made plans.

june third

All I can remember about last Sunday is that Bren and Pepper made some wooden spinning tops on the lathe, I planted loads of spring bulbs, Indi wrote an essay in Melbourne, poor Jazzy wasn't well and we ate fire-baked potatoes for dinner.

june fourth

I remember being halfway through a conversation with Bren last Monday when I looked behind him and saw the light coming through the window and hitting the cyclamen and I had to rush out to take a photo. I guess that's a big pro for the taking at least one photo every single day. They can't always be the big moments.

I look at that macrame so often and wish for the time to make more. Hopefully when I'm housebound over true winter I will.

june fifth

The greenhouse is in a bit of a post busy season mess, as you can see in the first photo on this post, but somehow through the lattice of windows everything looks just as it should. I love that.

june sixth

On Wednesday, due to the luck of her timetable and my need to escape the distractions of the home and get some serious work done, I spent four heavenly hours in two cafes, sitting across from Miss Indi, drinking coffee and then peppermint tea.

Back at the height of my crochet obsession in 2012, I would have written an entire blog post about those tea cozies!

june seventh

This week three windows went into my studio and three walls were clad in the old car-port tin. Next week the shingles will go on the front and then I think it'll be time to fit out the inside. So far everything but the battens is recycled. I am ridiculously in love with every single detail and ridiculously grateful to my farmer boy and to Jobbo. xx

june eighth

Today. One more sleep til Soul Craft!

It's funny how much I enjoyed hanging out the washing this morning when I knew I had a bazillion other things that I should have been doing to get ready for tomorrow instead. How I shook out every piece to make sure they dried right, how I admired all of the stripes and colours, how I made sure there was nothing long hanging in the back row to get in the way when we carry loads of wood through, and how much an undercover, out-of-the-living-area washing line has changed my life. On Sunday the housework will probably drive me crazy again, but for now, anything but the should is good.

Which brings me to now, 3.26pm on Friday. This time tomorrow I'll be two hours into my class, with one still to go. Wish me luck!

For now I have to go and charge my camera battery, finish printing and collating the instruction sheets, organise my samples, pack my needles and yarn, go through my presentation, wrap my dad's birthday present and take some deep breaths.

Hopefully I'll be seeing some of you tomorrow.

Do you have any last minute public speaking or teaching tips for me?
Do you have any questions you think I should address in my talk?
What's your best procrastination trick?

Hopefully I'll live to tell the tale and see you back here next week with all the gory details...


Kate x


  1. I can't wait to read your post craft class post next week. I'm sure it will be so much better than you ever imagined, and even if you decide teaching isn't your thing, I bet you will have grown so much from the experience. How I wish I was attending, sigh, maybe one day.

    How exciting that your studio is so nearly ready for you.

    What a wonderful way to spend time with Indi. You are both very fortunate to have had the space to do that. There aren't nearly enough moments spent like that.

    I avoid public speaking in any form like the plague, so nope no tips.
    As for questions, I'm sure your students will ask the ones you need to address.
    Procrastination? I think I live most of my life in that state, these days i disappear in my phone (which makes me feel worse and is in no way useful), I think I used to clean, which was heaps better, I'd clean out a cupboard, or change all the beds, or the kids favourite, bake often desserts. Now those things are the things i'm actually procrastinating about doing.

    Enjoy yourself tomorrow,
    You will be fine, I have complete faith in you and your abilities.
    cheers Kate

  2. I hope you have lots of fun tomorrow Kate. I wish I could be there ,I am sure your socks will be a great success.Stay warm.

  3. Kate......before you start your talk....drop your shoulders and take a long slow breath out.......have fun xx

  4. You won’t need luck Kate. Just be yourself and everyone will love both you and your class. I was thinking about you on Thursday night/Friday morning whilst laying in bed trying to go to sleep (it was around 4am before I finally fell asleep). I got to thinking, does the wrap around porch Kate and Bren have put onto their home make the home warmer by keeping the heat in? I know for goodness sake not my business, it doesn’t concern me, so for goodness sake just go to sleep. It’s funny what the brain drags through when trying to switch off.

  5. I could look at photos of your greenhouse all day. I started reading your blog just before you headed off on your caravan holiday (or maybe it was after and I back binged). I am so inspired by how much you fit in to each day and on not much sleep! Rhonda’s blog is one of the earliest I started reading and still love. Good luck with your class - if you teach anything like you write it will be amazing. Katie

  6. What a beautiful thoughtful gift that book is!
    I am still wearing clothes made from tea towels and tablecloths and pillowcases, well, in Summer I do. My vegemite pillowcase skirt is my favourite and always creates a huge amount of conversation wherever I go.
    As for public speaking, I don't really have a problem with it. I like it best when I'm talking about something I know well or something I am passionate about. You'll be speaking with passion and knowledge so maybe just pretend you are doing a live blog post!
    Good luck and have fun!!!

  7. You will be your lovely talented, real and beautiful self. Remember that everyone you are teaching really wants to be there so they are on your side already. Also remember that you know way more about it than they do, so just breathe, know you’re in exactly the right spot, and let yourself enjoy it as much as they will.

  8. Hey Kate, just catching up on the last few weeks posts. Sorry to hear your sleep has been a little crappy - hopefully you can continue to move towards a more restful night time. Sounds like you are doing all you can. I think life's rhythms really can play havoc with our sleep.
    Good luck with the talking tomorrow. I think you'll be absolutely fine once you start - that's what I always find anyway. All the pre-thought gets you a little worked up and then you get there and realise that you are just talking to people who want to learn something or hear your story (or both).
    I'm a professional procrastinator and therefore have a whole bag of tricks - my most used one though is 'non-productive busywork'.
    As always, your pictures evoke so many thoughts and feelings. Not least of all is that I really need a teapot cosy - Canberra winters are playing havoc with my hot tea temps.
    Have a great weekend, enjoy your talk and connecting tomorrow and hopefully get some rest :)

  9. Just keep breathing. I don't mind public speaking, but when its important my heart races and I do need to remember calm, relaxed breathing. People hear and listen better when you are calmer and more relaxed. When you are nervous you make them a little less comfortable. Welcome them and think about how you'd want to feel entering a room to hear someone speak. That's the environment you want to create. That tends to help me calm down and do what I need to do.

  10. Laundry... My by far most loved chore. I love how you described it, shaking out every piece, making sure the pieces are hung in the right place... I always thought I hated chores and laundry can be quite overwhelming at times. It is a never ending story... Wash, hang, fold, put away, take out, wear and repeat... But it is something incredibly soothing in the work. Me too, I turn to laundry in stressful moments. In anger. In frustration. In sadness. When overwhelmed. Maybe because it gives me a sense of accomplishment to hang, fold, put away... A mission that can be mastered in a short time. A feeling of "at least I've done that! Good! What's next?" At least it is for me. I don't know about you, but it sounds like we might share the same laundry philosophy... Good luck with Soul Craft. you will rock it, I'm sure.

  11. Just remember to breathe, and be yourself. Your lovely personality will shine through and you'll soon get into your stride. I really think you're going to love it! You have an amazing tree next to your studio, it looks like it has orange candles on it.

  12. Before giving a presentation, my daughter was told to bite her tongue before she started - it makes you salivate, so you aren't troubled by nervous dry mouth! Good luck; I'm sure you'll do brilliantly. xx

  13. Don't forget to breathe during the class! And enjoy the experience of it.

  14. Hello Kate! You're very lovable you know, so it's easy to think of you when I come across a floristry book I want to give away.

    I was awake from 1.20am Friday night. After I woke I made handwritten notes for a while then came across the news of Anthony Bourdain's death and didn't believe it. I went straight to the New York Times and there it was bold as brass, still unbelievable and sad beyond belief.

    I think nervous energy helps with public speaking. I've done a lot of talks and the ones when I feel slightly nervous make me focus like a laser, the time goes fast and I enjoy myself. I wish I could be there with a thermos of tea and to hold your shaking hand.

    And finally, thank you for your photo of something I've never seen before. I'm really enjoying all the photos but the one of Indi in the cafe with those crocheted tea cosies made me smile. Never before have I seen a tea cosy in a cafe. Yarn is silently taking over the world.

    You'll be half way through your talk now. I hope it's going well and you're enjoying yourself. I'm sure everyone who is with you will be. xx

  15. I'm sure you will love teaching the craft class. How lovely to receive the book in the mail. I have been reading Rhonda's blog for over 10 years myself and have met her at our local library when she was doing a talk a few years ago. Can't wait to hear how the class went I'm sure you will be on cloud 9.

  16. I’m so sorry I missed your session, as I desperately want to knit socks, and I want nobody but you to guide me! I find your blog a great comfort, Ive read it now for 8 years (and went back and read the earlier posts I missed) and I wish I could explain to you the joy I feel in doing so. It’s incredibly inspirational and real and beautiful, and knowing you as I do, it’s a complete reflection of who you are. What a glorious thing to be alive on the Internet.

  17. I do love so much catching up on your blog, life gets in the way sometimes then suddenly i have a few weeks to catch up on! i have a hot mug of tea and scrolling and reading and viewing your beautiful photographs. i love it, i love the idea of the lifestyle that you have, tough at times i'm sure but equally as beautiful and peaceful.
    Much love xxx


Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Visit my other blog.