28 July 2014

Nina Recent

We were having a family draw the other day. Nina took a photo of me to draw. The end result, she swears, is not me 'at all' but you know, when I saw the snap it was based on, it was actually disturbingly accurate. I'm clearly descending into crone hood.

She struggles with hands (don't we all?), hence pockets! I love the cat and the boots.

Actually she doesn't struggle that much with hands I guess.
The magic Chrisantha comes out of a box. This is a horrid picture according to Nina.
I like the serifs on her letters.
Word searches were all the rage for a while.
with over five searches!
She's always liked drawing pens and pencils.

I'm getting worse about tidying and sorting art work these days. Months and months go past and I've barely looked at anything the kids have done - perhaps the briefest of glances on the way to the recycling bin. So I did a big sort out and snapped what was sitting in their trays in the playroom. It might not be the best or most interesting of whatever they've been doing lately, but I like preserving in a kind of digital amber exactly where they were at in a particular moment of time.

26 July 2014

I am Special

I am special because I have very nice friends and they are very kind to me. Grace

25 July 2014

Bored at Work

Lil had to come to work with me recently. I ransacked the stationery cupboard to keep her occupied. This is probably the most creative use of 'sign here' stickers to come out of my office in a while. 

15 July 2014

Happy feet

there is a mirror behind these shoes - I didn't sew that many!

At the end of last year's fete season someone donated two large pieces of cream/beige leather. We had, by that time, sewed and knitted and stuffed so many things that the prospect of turning that leather into anything was just too daunting. I put it away with the rest of the craft supplies and forgot all about it till a couple of weeks ago when I was looking for some old jumpers to re-purpose. I had not a clue of what to make with it, but brought it home with me in case inspiration struck.  I quite like this sort of crafting - letting the supplies to hand dictate the product rather than the other way around.
Years ago, before Grace was even born I think, I made a heap of little baby shoes. At one time, if you knew me and had a baby, you were fairly sure of getting a pair of handmade babyshoes from me. My very first foray into internet shopping was the purchase of ribbon to stitch across the toes of tiny shoes, which is why I still have a bundle of ribbons, quarter of a yard in length - a fairly useless quantity of ribbon for any purpose other than to decorate the front of a  baby shoe.  After making about 8 or 10 pairs I tired of them. They were terribly fiddly, requiring outer fabric, inner fabric, iron on interfacing,  threading of elastic and stitching of ribbon. I stopped making them and never bothered again. Until now.
This bit of leather looked like it might just work as a baby shoe and I dragged out the old pattern, modified it to work with leather and without lining or requiring the elastic to be threaded through the front casing.  There are a million baby shoe tutorials around, the one I based this shoe on was from Michael Miller fabrics but there are plenty of similar ones about.  I've never sewn leather before, but my machine handled it beautifully and it was lovely to work with - almost like thick felt. No ironing, turning under frayable ends or bothering about interfacing.  Instead of threading the elastic all the way through, which would be nearly impossible, I stitched a strong piece several times to each side of the top casing. No great flexibility is required- just enough elastication to enable the shoe to be slipped on and enough to ensure it won't slip off.  I used up some of my stash of ribbons too. Sadly I don't have anymore little feet for these, but I hope they'll appeal to others who do. 

13 July 2014

A Week Away

Green through every window

Is it just me or are overalls really cool?

It looked so much like something I'd be paying $15 a kilo for at home, but I am just not game to risk it

Sheoak Falls  - with water

New fireplace, hot milk and friends Iris and Audrey

Sassy and Grace

Big fat koala


New passion

No big kids allowed

Gully preparing his marshmellow toasting stick

We just had a week away and though I took my decent camera, the convenience of the iPhone always seems to trump lugging the SLR around.  It's a shame, really, when the scenery deserves better treatment.  A week seemed such a luxuriously long time to spend surrounded by intense beauty, and even the fact that it barely stopped raining for five of the days, and hailed as we were walking to Sheoak Falls, couldn't detract from the pleasure.  We had visitors galore and it was so good to share this place with others.  I delighted in the fun all the kids had playing in the abundant mud, until I didn't, and then I was completely over it.  Over the mud caked gum boots, the 'mud gloves', the filthy trousers, the squelchy runners, the mud caked car interior that will eventually (hopefully by somebody other than me) require cleaning.  We had a very chilly day on the beach where all the kids except Lily swam and I stood around in long johns and all my Boston-winter gear and still felt cold.  Have I gone soft so quickly?  Not long ago I would have braced the water too, but supervising seven kids was enough, without also freezing my tits off.  Hot chips and potato cakes after hot showers eventually warmed us all up.  We went yabbying in the dam (without luck - apparently not the right season for yabbies) and Nina had an unscheduled dip up to her waist when what appeared to be a puddle turned out to be a water-hole.  We saw mobs of kangeroos, a couple of koalas (or the same koala twice, more likely) and had daily visits from the window-bombing kookaburras who, like stray cats, visited at meal-times hoping for a scrap.  We found a skull and some bones of an animal and tried to figure out what it would be - probably a kangeroo we thought.  We saw (and heard) owls, stacked wood, painted (half) the house,  discovered and disposed of the source of the terrible smell behind the fridge, drank a lot of tea, did the cryptic cross-word (not terribly successfully) each night, handquilted a small quilt, played bananagrams, explored, rode a trail-bike, watched the moon wax, checked out the surf, toasted marshmellows, baked scones, read 'Remembering Babylon', slept in and stayed up late.  It was such a superb holiday that the week ahead and all the mundane realities of our daily lives, feels a wee bit depressing.  

Moment of Grace

The beds are made, the floor is vacuumed, the kids are not squabbling, the rain has stopped, the firewood is chopped, the cake is in the oven, the dead mouse behind the fridge has been disposed of, the friends are on their way, the book is finished.

01 July 2014

Show Time

There is no doubt we are blessed by the presence of Kim in our home twice a week and more if we are lucky.  She minds the kids but she does so much more than that.  These are the stick puppets she made with Lily, Grace and Nina whilst Ruby was at netball training last week.  I'm particularly fond of the guy with frankfurt hair, Nina's tiny zip-loc bag guy with titchy hat, grace's bow-tie-wearing banana and Lily's baby monster with blue wool hair.

Their stand also doubles as their storage box.  We like boxes a lot in this house.