Thursday 31 May 2012

get your goat on

 These are the three pieces I have been working on for this Fridays exhibition at the Everything That's Beautiful Gallery in town. Unfortunately this will be the last exhibition at the gallery as it is closing but Alex is thinking about doing pop up exhibitions at the Workshop space. The first image is of Pan, the goat god, I have a fondess for Pan, originating from one of my most favourite books ever, Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins, there is a little nod to the book in the piece. Pan in the book, is depicted as such a cheeky, raunchy, stinky yet lonely character, trying to keep myths alive in the modern day.
I love the process of embroidering. I usually sketch some ideas in my book and then stitch freehand, going with what feels right, waiting to see what or who emerges.

Now a bit more eye candy, this beautiful clip from this gorgeous blog, is just captivating (be warned you might shed a tear or two, I did). It made me feel like getting married again (to Scott of course) or just having a gorgeous loved up love fest party.Oh and it includes one of my most favourite songs (Blood by the Middle East). Ahhhh, enjoy.

a trivial tale

Sure, I have frequented the odd pub trivia night, I have in my past dabbled in the art of Trivial Pursuit but I declare this was the first time that I have attended a Trivia fundraiser night and basically I cannot wait til the next one. Yes, despite our failure to secure any real success, the Trivia fundraiser circuit is strangely alluring. 
Woo, Ginger and myself with the assistance of our costume stylist Scott, donned suitable Fairytale themed attire (I went as the Queen of Hearts and Ginger and Woo went as Rock-a-bye Baby, complete with black leather rocker jacket). By the time we were ready to leave, Scott was reading to four children in bed, with Ilo fast asleep in our bed, he had generously offered to look after Sepo for Libby and Ziggy and Sidney for Woo and Eno (Eno was called out to a bonfire that wasn't supposed to be a bonfire, he is a fiery). Go super Scott, your awesomeness was greatly appreciated.
The fundraiser was for the local steiner daycare, Dawn Song, to raise funds so that they can build better disability access around and in the centre, for one particularly special child, Mala and any other future children who may also need such support. The night was a huge success and they raised lots of money, which was wonderful. 
Our trivia team was The Sponge Crumpets, it was a hilarious table to be on, full of wit, humour , plenty of nonsense and lovely friends. David and Matt (pictured above) were amazing fairy godmothers and did a crowd stopping interpretative dance routine, hilarious. 
I loved that by the end of the night, my cheeks were hurting from smiling and laughing constantly throughout the night. Yes, it was totally raucous and at times totally nonsensical and as I mentioned, I can't wait to do it again, but I also really want Scott to have this much fun as well.   
And amongst it all, this piece of gorgeousness, slept undisturbed whilst collecting millions of ooh's, ahh's and uterus clenches. 

Wednesday 30 May 2012

not quite a day in the life

 Last Friday was a bit of a crazy day. After a slow start it was kicked off by a seemingly harmless cup of coffee. Harmless to most people, yes, but totally crazy for somebody like me, who can't really handle her caffeine. But I was a little weary after a few late nights embroidering (i know, i know, but i was having too much fun, sleep did take a back seat, but oh so much fun) and I knew we had a few things on that day, so I did indeed throw caution to the wind and kind of deny any ill effects. Is this, as a parent, totally irresponsible? Hmmm, there were moments when I did second guess my choice.
So..... at about 11am (1/2hour after ingestion of said coffee), I was walking home with two of my lovelies (Scott and Ilo) and I noticed the grass was a surreal and slightly animated green, this coffee was a lot stronger than I thought. So what was I to do but call around to my friendly neighbours and then spend a decent amount of time speaking at an unusually fast pace, after much laughing and fidgeting I decided that this kind of vibrancy, zest and energy basically called for some crafting.
So I came home and ended up sweeping, but my gosh what productive sweeping it was and then, looking at the time realised that I had to head back into town for a little farewell soiree for Wabi Sabi. Yes, Friday was it's last day. It was a lovely send off, very sweet, a little sad but also very exciting about what the future holds. Luckily they were totally oblivious to the effects of caffeine streaming through my veins but after a (very small) glass of champagne, I was seriously questioning my decision to have that coffee, I was taken back to those days before kids where you would have Friday lunchtime drinks that blurred into an afternoon off and an evening of 'socialising', an evening where anything was possible and you had not a care in the world. But, 'hey' I thought, I have lots of cares in my world so . I took a few deep breaths and a stern, 'you are a parent' talking to and I could feel the cloak start to lift and I set off home for the next part of the day (the grass had stopped being so luminescent and my thoughts and voice had calmed considerably).
photo by Nick, check out his work, he is totally amazing.
hmmm my hands do seem to be holding onto that camera just a bit too tight me thinks.
The next part of the day included listening to some beautiful singing, getting little people all rugged up, wiping blood from the walls (after Ilo accidentally stepped on Poe's sore toe and released the blood from under his nail) and getting everything together in time for the 9 x the do exhibition opening. Lauren the creative master behind  9 x the do  had a beautiful opening showing of her gorgeous ceramic pieces and sweet drawings to the town. She generously insisted on keeping my three remaining pieces up, which was even more lovely as one of them (the tomato) sold on the night, thanks Lauren, you are super awesome.
Lauren, taking down the orders, making the big bucks.
For a couple of weeks prior to the opening Scott and Charlie (pictured above) had been rehearsing at our home and oh my goodness. I think if I could chose a singing voice (I cannot sing), I would choose a voice like Charlie's, amazing. Sexy, strong, sweet and fun. They did a few covers which included; 
* In Spite of Ourselves - John Prine and Iris DeMent You must check this song out, it is awesome and hilarious, some friends, Matt and Lisa performed it at their wedding a few years ago and it was a hit. 
* My First Lover- Gillian Welch - you probably all know this song, oh my. if you don't, check it out now and if you have never seen the filmclip, please treat yourself. 
and a couple more.
I would love to see these two perform more together, it worked so well. Such a delight. Here is a little bit of a clip of them at the opening. 
After Scott finished we then headed up to the Lodge for dinner and to watch Scott play with The Mid North, two gigs in one night, totally rock. 

* I didn't get to sleep til about 2 the next morning, I did stay up til 12 embroidering goats and then i lay in bed for at least two hours with images of goats flashing through my head. 
* No children were harmed in the making of this day. xxx

Saturday 26 May 2012

little ones

Meeting the hunger, Ilo demolishing a bowl of dahl, rice, sauerkraut and yoghurt
Oh this little one. So full of spirit, love, frustration, humour and determination. He can be showering you with kisses and professing his love 'to the moon, the stars and Malaysia and back" and then a few minutes later he will be declaring "i don't love you" with a stubborn frown and a hand ready to hit... yikes. Obviously this change in attitude comes along when he is not getting things exactly what he wishes. 
Ilo is showing that, at the moment, he is quite full of determination on one hand and pure sweetness on the other, difficult for a parent (the determination) but awesome traits as an adult; standing up for what he believes in and being gorgeously kind to so many around him. But, I don't like to project, he is 2 and a half and these are just parts of who he is now. And oh my goodness he is so gorgeous and overall such a delight.
Poe had a few days off school whilst his toe tried to heal, on the third day in particular (after adjusting to each others groove) Ilo and he had the most glorious of days, full of adventures; mummas and mummas, campouts, sewing, printing, adventures in the bathtub, journeys to other lands, picnics and so much love and affection. I love seeing them when they just fit so well together, when they are both listening, both having a chance to bring ideas to the game, both understood, it feels so gentle and beautiful and they just beam. On other days they have a hard time fitting, of listening, of understanding each other. Siblings, at times, so wonderful to watch, at others it's like a car crash. At the end of everyday and the start of every morning, these two kiss, cuddle and declare their love for each other, making the car crashes just that bit more tolerable. 

Friday 25 May 2012

heart parenting is not just for parents

Hi I know I have mentioned this before but unfortunately the previous course didn't run in May but it is now being run in July to make sure as many people can get a chance to come. 
Scott did this course up here in Bundagen (you can read more here) and it has really changed him for the better, yes even more awesomer. Here is what he said:
"It made me not just a better parent but a better husband and a better person.  I did the course because I realised that there was no joy in winning a fight with a five year old and I needed to work out how to prevent those situations.  But the course gave me so much more.  It's made me a more compassionate person and a better communicator which in turn has made my life easier at home and beyond.  It's the best thing I've ever done."
It is such a beautiful and amazing course, I loved having chats with Scott afterwards about stuff that had come up with him. It was also so different to just reading a book, the activities and open conversation made it very hands on and allowed for more immediate change. 
I will definitely be doing it next time it runs up here and Scott wants to do it again, just to keep it all fresh. Some of us are even looking at trying to get it into Chrysalis so that the teachers have these beautiful tools and then they (and the parents) can have it as part of the children's lives (but that's a work in progress). 
So if you can try to make the Sydney course or if you know someone in Sydney who might be interested please pass this on. 

Heart of Parenting course - in Lane Cove on 22nd & 29th July - Rare opportunity

 If the cost is an issue, Jo can do payment plans.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

with a little help

 On the weekend I had the Bellingen Monthly markets, they are great markets, really big, very relaxed full of delicious food, so many beautiful handmade bits, lots of stalls, a little not so babbling but very fun brook (especially for seed pod boat races) and a glorious amount of big trees that embrace the market. I love doing these markets, but I felt quite anxious about these upcoming markets, namely because my beautiful wingman was going to be away, yep Scott as The Mid North was playing and having a huge amount of fun at the Karuah Bluegrass Festival.
Which meant it was up to me to juggle two little ones, an early morning stall set up and obviously having a stall by myself all day, did I mention with two little ones. Given they do love playing in the little creek behind my stall but really, all day, hmmmmm. So I took a deep breath and I asked for help, first port of call was my awesome neighbour and beautiful friend Woo, 'yeah, no problem, of course' she offered to have them from the morning and feed them with a big pot of porridge of the stove , phew. Now I was covered til 10 (Ziggy was singing with the school choir at the Bellingen Show), so once again I reached out and asked Nicole if she could help, another very excited and positive response, phew (again). Nicole, Poe and Ilo had lots of fun at a park, a garage sale and at Jo's (our new rental, more about that later) a few books later they were back for a play with me and then back to Woo's again. Perfect, except for one thing, I had to keep leaving my stall to deposit my children in various places, this time the solution came to me in the form of Bell, ah the beautiful Bell, whom had already mentioned that she was going to do a stall, so we joined forces and before I knew it, I was surrounded and completely supported by these wonderful friends.
The day was a delight, the market was really good, Poe and Ilo had a ball, so did all my helpers. Once I made the leap and asked for help and then saw how happy and at ease Poe and Ilo were just made me feel so warm and relaxed.
Bell, doing some hooping in one of my dresses. So great and totally hot (we did a dress swap, so will post Bell's dress very soon, unfortunately I didn't get to hoop in it). Bell sells these hoops through her website, along with her beautiful pieces of clothing using recycled fabrics. Another amazing sewer who is not caught up with perfection but rather inspiration, individuality, form, beauty, passion and the environment, so inspiring. 
You may also recognise Bell as one of the owners of Wabi Sabi but unfortunately as of this Friday Wabi Sabi is no more. It was really lovely for Danielle and Bell to include us in the discussions about closing the shop, there was an idea that Cat (one of the other designers), myself and Bell could take it over but instead we decided to focus on the markets, our online stores and I also thought we could do a monthly pop up Wabi Sabi shop at the Workshop space, we are all really excited about these new and challenging ventures. 
After the markets, the Poe and Ilo hopped into the bike trailer and we headed over to the showgrounds to catch a bit of the Bellingen Show. Sadly most of the animals had retired for the day (we didn't get there til 4.30), the wood chopping had finished and the mongrel dog show was long gone but we did get to check out the petting zoo, the snake man (but only briefly, Poe isn't really that keen on checking out snakes or crocodiles for that matter) the 'crazy' of the rides, a few carni folk, and the fruit, vegetable and cake displays. We then hopped back on the bike and headed up to 5 Church St for cosy and delicious dinner (they have recently installed a combustion fireplace, so great, it's like it's been there forever). 
As we snuggled together on the lounge reading and eating, we enjoyed the beautiful voice of Liesel from the band Nick and Liesel, hailing from the Central Coast. I was introduced to this lovely duo a few years ago by my dear friend Robin and I was so excited to hear that they were coming to town, sadly we weren't able to stay for the full show due to our early morning start but we did enjoy the soundcheck. Ilo looking up from his food stopped and said 'Mumma, listen to that lovely sound', it was Liesel's voice. From what I hear, the night was a huge success, they sold out and were well loved.
On Sunday we headed up to Dorrigo for Thomas's party, I particularly enjoyed the impromptu bushwalk and then the sudden turn around as the little folk decided that it was too scary; the 'path' had ended and the waterfall that was rushing was getting closer.
So a full but lovely weekend, we all really missed Scott (I had forgotten what it's like to do some solo parenting, we share everything nowadays) and were so happy when he returned Sunday night. Unfortunately he returned to Poe on the lounge snuggling next to me with a swollen and blackened toe, he had dropped a whole brick on his toe when he was making a circus outside. Subsequently he has been crawling everywhere and only now hobbling about, it still looks totally painful and I can't wait for the toenail to come off to release some of the pressure. I have opted not to include any photos, too much information I feel.
What is it with us and feet? This past year we have seen a sewing needle, ukelele, bee sting and now brick foot injury. What does this mean? Is it as simple as, we need to wear shoes? I don't know.

Friday 18 May 2012

tops and a bottom


Some new bits and pieces that I will be taking to the markets tomorrow. As I mentioned I am so delighted with these colours, I really get inspired by the random fabric I find and often find myself going on a completely different tangent, led purely by the fabric. This teal blue top (above) is gorgeous but totally polyester, but still I couldn't resist, luckily we are heading into winter.

The skirt is new, as you know lately is all been about tops, tops and more tops but that lightweight denim was singing to me, serenading me, wanting me to make it into a skirt. So I obeyed.

As instigated by Nikki and a smaller glimmer in my mind I have started on a few long sleeve/3/4 sleeve tops, I really enjoyed the challenge. The tablecloth top with the houses is quite striking but not sure how many more I could make that works this well. 
Ta da. Here are my embroidered vegetables hanging on the walls of the Everything That's Beautiful gallery. Two pieces ended up selling, I was really touched, excited and a bit shocked.  

Mothers Day was really sweet, lots of cuddles, kisses and cards in bed followed by a special Ilo, Poe and Scott breakfast (not shown here, I had finished eating by the time Scott got the camera so his breakfast stood in). I stayed in bed til 10am, reading craft blogs in bed, listening to my lovely ones play and laugh. I hopped on my new old red bike and we headed down to the river for a picnic in the sun. Then it was home for the usual fancy dress amusement.

Yesterday I awoke feeling like I had a flu, body aches, sore eyes and an overwhelming sense of weariness. I thought back over the last few nights and realised I had been staying up to about 12 every night embroidering and totally neglecting any downtime my body was needing. I remembered that this has happened before and it wasn't the flu it was exhaustion. So I stopped. I had a infra red sauna at Alchemy to sweat things out, dosed up and spent the rest of the day in bed, not sleeping, resting and today I feel so much better. I really need to be more aware of this as I just want to do so much and forget to nurture myself a bit.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

sneaking a peek

Here is a little sneak peek at my goat embroidery for an upcoming exhibition (i'm thinking it kind of looks like a deer, hmmm need to do something about that), the tantalising colours that are radiating from some of my new tops and some of the delicious fabric i managed to haul out of the fabric-a-brac.

Monday 14 May 2012


 We've been busy this week, busy enjoying dinners, dinners that have been talked about for many a month but are only now, in this one week, coming to fruition. On the Monday after we returned from our trip we met David, Kelly and Jarrah by the river, the kids enjoyed the refreshing water and we enjoyed watching them and then dismaying as the sun's warmth left and the river was no longer the best place to be. We quickly scuttled off to their home, where a fire was quickly created and a warm bath filled. A lovely and cosy evening.
The next night we headed up the road (literally) to The Purple Carrot, where Amy was celebrating her birthday with lots of colour. Everybody brought a plate of deliciousness (I brought a chickpea slice with some lentil tomatoey sauce, it was a hit). So we feasted, chatted, Ilo fell asleep and then we mosied on home. Check out that gorgeous grin on that stunning woman! Amy exudes that type of energy and delight, pretty much all the time, it is always such a pleasure to be in her company. 
And these two did some very serious playing together. 
Wednesday night we enjoyed some delicious mexican food at our home with the lovely Alice and Jamira, Thursday saw a relaxing, fun and easy evening eating minestrone with Libby, Sepo, Jim, Kayla, Sam, Anais, Melissa, Elyssa and Jethro, phew. This night included lots of hide and seek, couch jumping and delightful giggling. Friday we stuck with tradition and headed to The Lodge. Tonight was extra special as it was Vic's birthday, Scott played a huge part in making Vic feel awesome, lots of hugs, birthday shout-outs and by creating a whole stack of lovely and beautiful Wanted posters (wanted for having too much talent). The Mid-North performed, Scott looked especially hot, something about that vest, shirt and beard, what a combination.
I really love watching Poe and Ilo watch Scott, they gently tap their feet or fingers and quietly sing the songs, usually whilst nodding their heads, such reverence.
The Mid North were in high demand this weekend, they also played at Vintage Espresso on Saturday, had a really lovely easy vibe.
Sorry that was all kind of blurted out with no wit or any added extras, I have some embroidery to do and feel a little torn between this post and the cushions by the fire and my embroidery waiting patiently.
I have been sewing lots of tops today, including some long sleeve ones (thanks for the kick Nikki, will email you some pics so you can get first choice). I am really delighted with the colours I am using at the moment, thanks to a knit score at a garage sale in Coffs, these are very limited items. I promise a post about them soon. Now onto my goat embroidery and the fire and maybe a cup of something warm and delicious, oh and did i mention the vegan tarte tartin i made......
Pssst just so I am not painting a picture of us being totally negligent parents, I would like to note now that all these dinners were remarkably sensible and Poe and Ilo were in bed by 7.30 every night. Please hang up the phone to DOCS right now....... now.