Friday 30 September 2011

beautiful friends

settling upon arrival

We were lucky enough to entice Annie, Genevieve, Olive and Oscar to come and visit us for a few days. WHAT you say, why is there even a need to "entice", well normally there isn't and our beloved ones are more than happy to flock this way, however the circumstances here were quite unusual.

ah dinner time

Our darling dear, dear, amazingly, unbelievable friends are also hightailing it out of Sydney. Yep to beautiful sunny Bega, they leave in less than 3 weeks and they have jobs to finish, a mountain of skirts to sew, boxes to pack, a home to rent, general child caring and more. They are following their dream of building a super awesome strawbale home (mini one first then followed by a slightly bigger one) with all the necessary eco not so mod-cons (including a house cow in the future, permaculture inspired swales, bees, fruit trees, the lot).

reading in the teepee

I love hearing and seeing and sharing their vision and we cannot wait until we can head down Bega way and get our hands dirty as I believe this may be the best house ever. Yes, ever. And this mighty claim is based largely on the amount of research these guys are doing, everything has been thought of in relation to least amount of impact and most return; solar passive design, windows galore on the north facing side, using recycled materials, through to using the earth from their block to create the floors in their home (see adobe flooring ), I rest my case.

kitchen love

So obviously you can tell what kind of friends these ones are, to drop all their crazy deadlines and sacrifice some of their precious time to be with us = freakin amazing.

annie assisting in some crafting
Our house definitely feels warmer and more right after having had them visit, i especially love that now they know where we are. We mostly hung at home; we cooked delicious feasts, we crafted a hat (Annie), some spiders and treasure bags, we drank, we played, we talked and talked and talked, we hugged, kissed, danced and laughed. I couldn't think of anything else I would rather do or anywhere I would rather be.

super cute crafty spider
I especially loved being able to kiss and cuddle Annie and Genevieve whenever I pleased, this is definitely not a practical option when we are many hundreds of kilometres away. So it felt pretty nourishing and oh so special, I feel like my cup has been filled.

dancing on the "weird green stuff" at the bowling club

Genevieve's sister Meg also came to visit, she had a course on at the same time in Coffs, it was lovely spending time with Megs as we usually just catch up at birthday parties, thanks Megs. By the way Megs is amazing with kids, they just adore her and she is so effortless around them and loves entering their worlds.
the beautiful oscar bosca
Olive and Poe slipped right into their awesomeness, their fairy adventures and their more recent Little House in the Big Wood adventures. These two have known each other since they were 9 months old when Annie and I met in Spotlight, we bonded over our babes cloth nappy bottoms and it has been love ever since. They both have a love for little things and I loved overhearing them talking about their little treasures, finding little treasures and in some cases swapping their treasures. Unfortunately we didn't get to eavesdrop on them as they were going to bed, well nowhere near as much as we used to, due to the layout of the house, and that is disappointing, the way they process the day together is just priceless.

to the river

for breakfast, no less

ah more love

dancing by the river

Fortuitously this wonderful bunch managed to organise their visit to coincide with my birthday, it was amazing, I felt showered in awesomeness, but more on that in the next post. 

Sunday 25 September 2011


 This post is devoted to the marvellous, the striking, the immensely talented, the crazily clever, the stunningly beautiful and heart touchingly kind Genevieve. Genevieve, is a rare human, she is someone who will walk in the room and you instantly feel better, she emits warmth and assurance coated with love and fun. To see her as an individual is a thrill to see her and her love Annie together is astounding, but I am sure I have mentioned this before.

This is what I made for Genevieve,  a miniature embroidery of some plants and flowers in a kind of photo booth set up. I was really happy with it and I think Genevieve loved it. Really happy with the red frame as well, I find it really interesting when framing things how you start of having no idea and then you end up with something kind of random but something that works (at the end of my decision making process it was down to the brown and red or lilac and white, both worked but the red and brown worked the best).

Genevieve is also particularly amazing at spoiling people,  you will hear more about this on my birthday post.
Genevieve, I love love love you so and my life is so much better with you in it. You are awesome, mwah.

Saturday 24 September 2011

Spring Festival

Last Tuesday Chrysalis had their Spring Festival and their Open Day, a celebration of the change of season and a chance for parents to have a look around, learn some things, ask some questions and meet with other parents. We have visited Chrysalis before but not in such detail.  Getting to the school you cross a number of rivers/creeks as you wind your way into the Thora Valley, when you arrive at the school you can't help but be struck by the surrounds; waterfalls in the surrounding mountains, the luscious bush, the flowers, the rivers (yes the school gets flooded in, usually without students in it), all pretty damn striking and then you have the school which looks like hobbit town nestled into it. The school is on a few levels and it really fits the environment, most of the buildings are mudbrick and made by the school community. There is so much to discover here and I love the undeniable presence of the natural environment that is part of the school. 

Scott and I both fell in love with the school all over again and just felt so lucky to have the opportunity to send our children here. We really love the gentle nature of the school and it's approach to learning. One student who is now sixteen and has gone through Chrysalis from Kindergarten to Year 8, was just beaming as she was telling us how even now her and her friends (all the kids in her Chrysalis year) say these have been the best years of their lives so far, there is such a tight bond with the steiner kids, their parents, their teachers and the community. 

Scott sat in on the curriculum talk whilst I played with Ilo, and he was really impressed by the variety of skills and the way in which the students learn; learning through nature, through experience, through stories. Scott is currently asleep, so cannot really comment further or give any detailed examples, maybe at a later date perhaps.

Poe spent the day with the Kindy class and was in heaven, he couldn't believe there was a fireplace (a mud brick one at that) in the storytelling room and that whilst they were eating lunch there was a swallow flitting about feeding it's babies in a nest just above their heads (they were eating lunch at a table in a kind of little cave, a roof and three walls but a big opening to the outside). He and Little Kindy performed a Spring dance with Kindy as part of Spring Festival, complete with flower garlands on their heads and little feet and arms going in and out the "windows". He claimed that his flowers were so bright he nearly couldn't see and every time he looked at them he just went "what!, flowers on my head! what!". Sweet precious one. As I write this, we have just finished decorating the house for when he wakes on his fifth birthday tomorrow. He is having a fairy party and he wishes that when he wakes up he will be as tall as Harriet. I will definitely post all about the party but before that post I have to post about the amazing Genevieve and her birthday gifts, our nourishing and precious visit from Annie, Genevieve, Olive, Oscar and Megs, my birthday, the arrival of Jen, Rod, Lily and Saul and then finally the Poe adoration/birthday blog. Oh my goodness what a backlog (for some reason I am tempted to say backblog but it kind of sounds too much like backbog, which really doesn't sound great at all). hmmmmm i am tired.

Monday 19 September 2011

The past week or so something has shifted and it is quite wonderful, suddenly we are feeling part of the community rather than observers, we can feel and see a future here and it all feels so right (by future we could mean the next two years or next twenty, who knows). The space that surrounds us continues to astound and excite us, there is just so much happening here that is interesting and inspiring. The change in season has also opened so much to us, finally the windows have been opened and we have a new level of access to this spectacular environment....woohoooo.

We have a new vehicle, it happened by accident, a stroll past a garage sale set off all kinds of thoughts, and we strolled past no more. This awesome trailer is surprisingly light and really easy. The squeals and giggles of pure joy that emit from the trailer have passer-bys stop in their tracks and smile.

On Saturday after a visit to the new op-shop in town (oh can this town get any better) and a leisurely stroll through the monthly markets (which are huge and really great) we went to a three-year old's party in the Thora Valley. Firstly the Thora Valley is where Chrysalis is and it is stunning; the rivers, the trees, the mountains; beautiful. The party was wonderful, so warm and welcoming, we knew a few people and  it just felt really easy, we felt included and comfortable.

check out that pinata in the background

Poe realised the pinata also made a fetching hat

On Sunday we visited Casuarina the other Steiner school in the region for it's Spring Fair and then headed to Coffs for a swim, I loved finishing the weekend sea salty, sun warmed and wonderfully tired.

I loved hearing about a group of ten 9 year old's from Bellingen having a sleep over on the beach at Bundagen, it was someone's party and they had a great time. There were a couple of adults there, they had a fire, cooked their dinner, and woke up super early. Ah sweet wholesome fun. 

Wednesday 14 September 2011

dog blanket?!

Can you seriously believe that this piece, that would have taken hours to create, this work of art, was found in an op shop dog blanket basket for a measly $2, yes, it is only a cot sized and it does need to have the backing replaced but still!! What was going on in the mind of the designated sorter,  usually volunteers at op shops are slightly senior but you would think that they would know the worth of such a piece and price it accordingly (by accordingly, I don't in any way mean the usual out of control pricing that the majority of op shops have now adopted).  Surely you can sense my bafflement, bafflement that even outweighs my absolute joy at finally owning such a piece (hmmm, no that is extreme, I do absolutely love this quilt) a wonderfully designed patchwork quilt, one which I can spend hours gazing upon, trying to choose which bit of awesome retro fabric is my favourite.

 Is it the tree, the deer, the trees, the lemon, actually there is no need to choose, I can just enjoy.

I found the quilt many months ago at a little op shop on the Central Coast that remains a veritable treasure trove, you remember those ones, where nothing has a price and you are always pleasantly surprised when it is time to pay (see I am torn, I love a bargain, but this quilt would still have been a bargain at five times the price) oh I do feel warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. Ok, back to the quilt, the backing needed replacing and for some reason I stalled at the removal of it and took my sweet time in restoring it. Ah, and now I know why, this quilt was not meant to adorn a bed, it needed to be displayed in a more prominent manner where it's true beauty could shine. And I found the most perfect place; between our room and the guest room, where there is an unusual, but hugely fun and open for all types of play, window (the guest room is an enclosed verandah).
It had this wafty weird lacy transparent curtain and was begging for something more.......

I especially love the way it looks with the light shining through it, pretty magical. See there is always a reason for such extreme procrastination. Oh and have no fear this curtain is also able to return to it's original form; the quilt, in a matter of minutes. 
disclaimer: I did buy quite a few other things at the time of purchasing the quilt, umm, obviously just to make things 'fair'. 

Monday 12 September 2011

crafting a gogo

When illness gets in the way of crafting, I just know that when the veil lifts, I can delight in the deluge of ideas fluttering through my head some staying, others fleeing and then bearing witness as some come to fruition.

It was so exciting to send this belated birthday bundle to some dear friends in Melbourne, full of



and these.

These are for the very beautiful Oscar Monty in Sydney, he recently turned two and we miss him so much. I just know he will delight in these bright colours.

I have been loving working on the cover for Scott's new album, pretty happy with it at the moment.

And a little sneak peek; a "backstage pass" to a gift created for Genevieve. 

But be warned this is only the beginning, there is a patchwork curtain being created, another gift for Genevieve, an embroidery piece and a very special fairy dress for Poe's birthday (designed and styled by Poe himself). So exciting and wonderful to be able-bodied again. Oh I am also super excited about another deluge, yes in a few days our marathon of visitors begins, I have already been thinking about menus and days by the river. 

Saturday 10 September 2011

Sun, salt and sand

Last week in a desperate bid to clear our lungs we set out to Hungry Head, a beautiful beach about 15 minutes drive away. And even though we ended up still being plagued by 'The Sickness' in the week to come, it was beautiful to take time, to sit and watch, to create and be gentle with ourselves. I am usually not a beach person; the sand, the intense and unrelenting sun, the journey to and from never seem worth it but beaches up here, at this time of year, feel so restorative, meditative and absolutely delightful. 

Phil, my beautiful father entered 'The House of the Ill', albeit for one night, it was so lovely having his energy, enthusiasm and freshness with us. He did manage to stay for his Breakfast Bee Sting Birthday cake before whisking Mum away to the safety of their flu free home. But they will be back soon enough. Oh and for those, that way inclined, the Bee Sting cake was recommended by that amazing and beautiful human we like to call Cam, it is like a spiced finger bun with custard inside and topped with toffee almonds, apparently it is particularly difficult to eat with a beard and if you are extremely hungry.

Today I have felt like the heavy and unwanted veil of sickness has been lifted, the fact that I have reached 8pm without a blinding headache is a revelation. Buoyed, I managed to finish and wrap a few presents that will be posted on Monday, help Poe create some Birthday invitations and set my sights and mind towards some special gifts for another very dear and wonderful friend, Genevieve. But more on that later.