Thursday, September 27, 2012
Maybe it's the (pre)school holidays, or that enormous to-do list (which seemed to strike a chord with so many of you!), or preparations for a grand overseas voyage (with a pair of toddlers, oh, my), but I'm sorely lacking inspiration in this space. Before I fall off the wagon completely, here's a sample of what's whirling around in the background.
- Bare feet - it must be spring.
- Bright colours on the shelf.
- Another vintage sheet becomes a wardrobe staple.
- Practising her alphabet. She, and I, are so ready for big school to begin.
- Flowers outside - found in the garden this afternoon.
- Flowers inside - found in an op-shop a while ago.
- Wearing a new hat (the way it's meant to be worn).
Monday, September 24, 2012
I met lots of lovely people at The Nursery back in August. One of them was Roberta, the incredibly talented woman behind Rowantree Design. Roberta was 'lucky' enough to score a lift to our outdoor shoot in my shockingly filthy car, and polite enough not to comment! Not only is she an international jet-setter, stylist, sailor of yachts and hands-on grandmother to her gorgeous Rowan, but she designs and creates the most beautiful vintage-inspired children's clothes. I was thrilled when a package arrived in the post last week with two sweet little dresses for Pearl and Stella. The quality is amazing and the fabric so pretty. How lucky are we?
As you can see, the girls are quite pleased with their gift. Thanks, Roberta.
Check out her blog here, and her shop here. Go on, she's having a giveaway at the moment. You don't want to miss that.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Friday, September 21, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Seven days is all it would take, I reckon. Seven child-free, work-free, meal-preparation-free days to tackle the lists. Seven days to feel less like I'm drowning under the pile of to-dos and able to enjoy things again.
Day one would be for the house. Cleaning it from top to toe, inside to out, and underneath, over and back to front. Not just gathering up the mess and shoving it into piles, not just wiping down the obvious sludge and sweeping up the blatant mounds of crumbs, but real, proper cleaning.
Day two would be for the garden. A whole day of planning the planting and then doing the planting. Pulling weeds. Turning compost. Tending to the tiny herb garden. Filling the empty pots. Talking to the tomato seeds to see if that will make them sprout, because sunshine and water doesn't seem to be doing the trick right now.
Day three we'd call ADMIN DAY. In big letters. Finally getting the last of the addresses changed after nine months in our new home. Sorting out the girls' passports. Filling out the school enrolment forms. Sending letters to tenants AND landlords. Organising for salaries to be paid into different accounts. Booking optometrist appointments. Finding a good local GP. A meal plan. Filing the great stack of papers that need filing. And perhaps doing a budget. Now, wouldn't that be novel?
Day four would be friends day. Sitting down with cups of tea and the telephone and having good chats with good friends who I've been neglecting because there never seems to be a run of enough spare minutes, or enough quiet in the background, to make a phone call possible. And then I'd gather up a pile of cards and stamps and write to all the people who I really need to say hello to, friends of my mum who would no doubt love a photo of the girls and some news. And then I'd attend to birthday gifts that have gone wanting in the great chaos of the year. There are some 18-month-olds in my life who still haven't received their first birthday present.
The sewing machine would get a workout on day five. I'd be able to finish off all the almost-finished odds and ends that need buttons or hems or elastic. I'd whizz through a stack of easy pants and skirts for the girls, the ones I refuse to buy because they're so easy to make, and yet I don't make because I don't quite get around to it. I'd get Lola's nature bag made that I've been promising her for months. And I'd at least try to make a dent in the fabric stash.
Day six would be me and the computer, tackling some writing projects that never even get a look-in these days. Perhaps I'd act all writerly and take the laptop to the local cafe so I could tap away whilst sipping lattes and feeling nostalgic about the good old days. That would be nice.
And on day seven, of course, I'd wander through my pristine house, feeling the weightlessness that comes from having checked off the last thing on a long, long list, I'd pull up a chair under a tree in my immaculate garden, and knit. Knitknitknitknitknit a whole day away. A cup of tea within reach, a magazine open in front of me, birds a-tweeting, perhaps some music drifting by and the gentle click-clack of my needles.
Just seven days. I think that's all I'd need.
I'm currently knitting tiny hats from big balls of wool (my favourite Cascade Eco), and I'm yet to choose another book having finally finished The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. Perhaps today's Yarn Along will throw up some ideas.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Reminding me to smile in a topsy-turvy week:
1) Pickings (from this little outing)
2) A little food-styling gig
3) That tree, that girl
4) A taste of summer, thanks to the GM
5) She's getting braver and braver
Wishing us all a lovely week x
Saturday, September 15, 2012
One sunny afternoon, three small girls, and a 'nature' bag "for collecting."
Through the churchyard and across the road to the oval.
Pinecones, some shiny red leaves, craggy sticks, moss, and lots and lots of wildflowers.
A nature study, though not nearly as scientific as we tried to make it look.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
The Yarn Along has me in its grip. I
awoke was awoken early this morning, and had a busy day ahead, but most of the morning's energies were directed towards getting this little top off the needles, the ends woven in, buttons added, and the washing and blocking done, all so I could meet the Wednesday deadline.
It happened, miracle of miracles. A second version, slightly adapted, of this other little tee. I cast on fewer stitches to make the neckline less gapey, and played around with the increases because I felt the other one was a bit puffy on the yoke. The yarn is Jo Sharp 8ply wool. My Pearl thought it was itchy today, but that's because I made her wear it with nothing under it for the photos. It will no doubt spend most of its time over a long-sleeve top because, as much as I want to declare winter over after this run of glorious sunny days, I suspect it would be a bit foolish of me.
I'm still working my way through The White Tiger and, despite my incremental progress, it has become a book I want to retire early for each night. A good thing, given the early starts these days.
Ravelry notes here.
Beautiful wooden buttons from here.
Yarn Along here.
And the pattern for this t-shirt coming soon.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Rhubarb and I are having a bit of a renaissance. There was a time when I ate it, stewed, on anything - porridge, Weet-Bix, yoghurt, ice-cream. If I walk into a patisserie and there's a rhubarb tart or pastry, that's what I'll choose. A bunch fell into my basket a couple of weeks ago, so I brought it home and stewed it up, then served it to my girls with the vaguest hint of scepticism that they'd eat it. Surprise, surprise, Lola finished her bowl and asked for more, as did Stella. Pearl, my eat-anything girl, she wasn't much up for it.
Today I whipped up another batch. It doesn't take much effort. Remove the leaves (they're toxic - don't eat them) and wash the stalks, then chop roughly. Place in a saucepan with a scant teaspoon of sugar and a splash of water. Cover with a lid, then cook over a gentle heat for about 5 minutes, until the rhubarb has broken down and is nice and sloppy. Cool. Eat.
It's tart and earthy and, not being overly sugary itself, goes perfectly with sweet things. Today I ate it with some of this. Tonight I'll probably have a bit more with ice-cream. And I'll be keeping my eye out for a friendly neighbour who was sensible enough to plant rhubarb crowns last winter and has some excess harvest to get rid of. Me! Me!
Sunday, September 9, 2012
A sampling of lovely from a busy week:
1) Purple dinosaur trumps green
2) Spinning twins
3) Organic garlic = Sunday roast
4) The relentless kitchenhand
5) Our early riser, mid-afternoon
6) Spring, spring, spring.
Hoping for a restful, productive week x