Since I last wrote all sorts of things have happened here in the nest, both with my business but also on the farm. Let’s get the colourful exciting pictures out of the way first! I have been busy playing with both fabric and wool, and trying out new things. I made my first large batch of tea bags and listed them on my Etsy shop (the link is at the top of the page).
I also played with bright colours and bobble stitches to make a tea cosy for a custom order and then, because I like it so much, made another for the Etsy shop!
On Monday I received a commission to make a series of tea cosies for a cafe! I will reveal all when they are complete, but I have had fun developing a repeatable pattern which I will publish once I have ironed out all the bugs! This is a picture during an early stage of development!
I have spent quite a bit of time at appointments and in waiting rooms this week so having my portable crochet habit with me has been useful. At the hairdressers on Wednesday I finished this water lily that I had been making using a pattern from Make my day creative.
On Thursday and again today I made lots of little hearts,
and kept perfecting that pattern!
On the home front much more has been happening. Last Saturday we met and decided to trial (before formally adopting) a new dog. It is exactly one year since our beautiful boy Milo contracted pancreatitis, and then died three months later. My boy has been patiently waiting for another dog of his own but I was keen to make sure it was the right dog, and that we were ready. Shadow seems to fit the bill. He is a Belgian Shepherd who was rescued after living rough in the bush on the outskirts of Canberra. Searches have not been able to locate his owners, so a rescue group set out to find him a new home. He has the most beautiful nature and is completely dedicated to my son. The downside is that he is not fully toilet trained at the moment, but that is possibly due to stress, as he is improving daily. With a week to go in the trial I think it will be hard to say goodbye to him and expect that he will become a permanent part of the family!
Saturday brought us other excitement with the discovery by the artist in residence of an injured kangaroo down near our chook run. We cared for him during the day until the Wildcare rescuers could come and take him for treatment. A photo sent through last night shows him doing well, so we are all very happy that Roger (as the kids named him) is doing well! His friends seem a bit suspicious of us though and seem to be keeping an eye on us all!
The other thing I can show you in photos is my new haircut. It has been a while since I had it done – a combination of finances, time and more time seemed to keep delaying me, which meant that by the time I got to the hairdresser she had a lot of hair to work with! I love the end result! I had to take a selfie to share the new look with you!
So there you have it – a week in review! Now to get the fire going because it is cold today, and then to keep working on that pattern! A cup of tea might be in order first though!
I hope that you have had a great week wherever you are!
Can you believe that it is February already? I knew that January was going to be busy for me this year, with the house move, but I really didn’t anticipate just how busy! Although moving house is meant to be stressful, in fact it was just busy. I seemed to be short of time to do anything, for days on end, and yet when I got to the end of each day I couldn’t report what I had achieved. However, the good news is that we are in, the house is now in our names (my parents and I) and we are settling in nicely. The danger is that those few boxes that haven’t been unpacked might never get unpacked……. but I am sure that one day I will remember something I need is in one of them and they will be emptied!
A photo by the artist-in-residence of the boy at our dam.
There are many wonderful things about our new home. There is room to spread out, for the kids to have adventures, for us to consider what animals we might get to fatten up in the paddocks, or which crops we might plant to generate some income in the future. There is room to ride bikes, find frogs and grasshoppers, to entertain friends, and to make new discoveries. The kids decided that swimming in the dam was a pretty awesome summer activity. Until a visitor spotted a tiger snake (extremely venomous) swimming across the top of the water towards them!! After that they returned to skipping stones across the water from the bank, after doing a full snake check first!
Looking across the biggest paddock towards the boundary
We can see the most beautiful sunsets from our property, but they are especially good when I climb to the top of our property.
The artist-in-residence has been enjoying taking photos of all the gorgeous roses in our garden
However there is one drawback in the midst of all this bucolic bliss. We are currently restricted to using mobile broadband modems as we can’t get cable broadband. 12GB a month for the four of us. Eek! Such a first world problem, but such a chore to work out! It has been quite good for all of us and forced us to change our internet habits, but sometimes it is just plain annoying!
I had already identified that I wouldn’t be doing any of my ‘work’ in January. I have managed to set up my sewing room (in what was formerly the formal dining room), and have made a laptop bag for my boy to use for going to school. But that is about it so far! As usual I have so many ideas, and plans, but the reality of being time poor means that I have to learn to be patient!
A lap top bag for the boy – waterproof of course, with a hint of Minecraft about it!
I have been learning a bit more than patience during the last few months too. I have discovered that I am very like my father in many ways. Once we moved house the first thing that was required was a new home for our chickens. Torrential, and unseasonal, rain put paid to the original plan to build something by recycling our swing set on the weekend we moved. (Okay – I was a tad ambitious in hindsight.) So a hurried purchase of a ridiculously small and even more ridiculously priced chook shed occurred and we moved the girls. Then Dad set to work, using completely recycled materials (bar the sheet of plywood we had to buy to build the nesting box). As he planned, built, measured, and interacted with the rest of us I saw myself reflected in many of his words and actions. (And not just the good ones!) After all these years of thinking that I take after my mother so much it has been quite an eye opener to discover that I have inherited so many traits from him!
The emergency purchase chicken coop – far too small for chickens, but pretty good for rabbits!
The first stage of the new chicken palace. Next steps include a fenced run, and an internal wall to provide shelter from the elements.
I have also had lots of reminders about why we have made this move, and that I can’t plan to do things with gay abandon as I used to, as my children don’t cope with it. I can’t say that this is a lesson that I have learnt as I seem to keep forgetting it. I thought that I could swan off the day after we moved, to clean the house we were selling. in hindsight that was a ridiculous plan but it took three phone calls from crying family members for me to realise that I needed to abandon that plan and return to the farm to support everyone through this massive change. (And I paid someone else to finish the cleaning!) I had also thought I could head off to the other side of the country for four days to attend the wedding of a dear friend. A few days before the trip I realised (after a particularly drastic action by my boy) that he was in no state for me to leave him for even a few hours, let alone a few days. So the trip was cancelled too. It is exhausting being ‘needed’ so much, but I am extremely lucky that I am able to be available so much. The generosity and support of my parents in helping us to move house has meant that while money has been tight over January, we could keep moving forward.
What else have I learnt? That my impatience stretches to myself! I have spent the last week setting up a book-keeping system that will (hopefully) save time and improve processes for the Shop that I support in an admin role. I kept wanting it to be perfect instantly, and wanting to fix everything that is associated with it instantly, and finally had to realised that I have to switch off, make a plan, and return to that dance of balancing family, work, obligations, fun, and time to let go. So – more life lessons for this old duck.
The final lesson? Purple hair die does not last! So now I have returned to blue, and added turquoise.
Other big news? My eldest has started high school and is relishing every moment of it! The two girls have been catching the bus home in the afternoon, and enjoying that new independence too. The children were given pet rabbits by their paternal grandparents at Christmas, and the bunnies very happily inherited the chicken coop. Unfortunately two of them died suddenly of unknown causes a few days ago, so there has been a fair amount of grief as a result. (And I had to dig two holes because the first one cut some buried irrigation pipe. The ground here is very rocky – more lessons learnt there!)
Three pet bunnies the day before the two grey ones, Pixie and Carrots, died. Mittens (white) is very lonely now.
I can also report a very positive start to the year for my boy. I am cautiously optimistic, as last year started well too, but he has grown a lot and is constantly learning how to manage himself, and he has made it through the first week remarkably well. His autism traits are becoming more obvious in his social interactions, so that will be a big focus to support him with over the next few months, but his other behaviours are responding well to his medication and allowing him to control his emotions much better. Phew!
There you have it – an update on the family news. Hopefully the next posts will have news on sewing, making, and farming!
One of the Campine chickens having a scratch around the new yard – so many juicy bugs to be found!
I have a busy brain. I am not quite sure why it is so busy at the moment, but it is. It is busy enough to keep me awake a lot during the night, to have me wanting to write as soon as I wake up so that I can capture all the thoughts I have had during the night, and to have me hopping from one thought to another, one task to another, and forgetting some of the important thoughts and tasks that need to happen.
Used with permission from www.cartoonaday.com
Those thoughts that were so well formed, and desperate to be shared in the waking hours have evaporated – a bit like the fog that my part of town was shrouded in yesterday – there thick and damp one minute and gone without trace the next. One of the remnants lingering is about community and social media.
Tonight is the kick off of my human experience. (It cracks me up every time I say or write this!) The 101 local humans are gathering to meet, hear about the planned experiences, and put voices, faces and bodies to the disembodied social media chats that have been occurring. Except of course that, because this is real life, there won’t be 101 humans because real humans have commitments more important than gathering – family, work, life. I am guessing that there will be about 90 odd (pun intended) humans at the gathering tonight. The chat on Facebook this week has been revealing. 101 have been chosen. About 95 are pretty comfortable that they are not as cool as the other 100, have been chosen in error, and are worried about meeting people out from behind their computer, think that the other 100 are the glitterati from about town, and have no idea what to wear to meet other humans. (Of course I fall into the 95 – you know me!)
And therein lies the beauty of this experience. We are exactly what is required. Humans. We are humans who live in a great city and enjoy different aspects of it. Some are great photographers (not me), some are really good at tweeting (also not me), some can have a snappy conversation on facebook that has everyone at ease and feeling included (sometimes me) and others like to write, and share in prose rather than 140 character messages. (Yep – that is me). We haven’t been chosen for our looks, our body shape, our ability to confidently sit and chat at the best cocktail bars in the world with celebrities, or for our ability to dress well for every occasion. We have been chosen for our ability to share. To wonder, whether through pictures, words, limited characters, or more, at the places we go and the experiences we have. The very fact that so many have been willing to admit that they are nervous, anxious, unsure what to wear, and very uncool is a sign of how good we are at sharing openly and honestly. These are human traits to be celebrated!
This then lurches rather than segues into societies use of social media. As some of you would know, I think about this quite often – is it good, is it bad, and how does it improve/affect/damage our lives? Through the wonders of Freecycle I had a great conversation yesterday with a fellow freecycler. As such conversations tend to do we covered all manner of topics, during which he confessed that he had recently committed ‘Facebook suicide’ complete with a farewell note, and had enjoyed the results. Friends were picking up the phone, he wasn’t looking for hollow affirmation from the number of likes he was receiving, and he felt liberated. This of course had me analysing, reflecting, and wondering about my own use of social media – again! (Small wonder my brain is busy!)
I know that I do not have a lot of contact with my friends who don’t use Facebook. I don’t pick up the phone, I don’t write long emails of news, and I don’t send birthday cards anymore. I know that I am missing out on their lives and they are missing out on mine. I know that this is sad on one level. But I also know that they, who aren’t using Facebook, instagram, twitter, etc, are also not reaching out to me, sending long emails, or writing birthday cards. It is not due to Facebook that we are not connecting – it is due to our lives. It doesn’t mean that we don’t care, that we don’t hold them in our hearts. It means that life is busy, complex, crazy, fun and happening right now, where we are. It doesn’t always have room for more. It certainly doesn’t (in my case) have room for me to stay in touch with every person I have had a connection with. And that is okay. That is why when we do see someone that we have lost touch with there is joy, and wonder and sharing, and laughter and tears.
When I see someone I haven’t seen for ages, but am friends with on Facebook, many stories gets interrupted by one of us saying – oh yes, I saw it on Facebook. But not every story. Not all of the parts of our lives are lived out on social media. Often the painful bits are tucked away to only be shared with the people we see face to face, or speak to on the phone. Some are held close and safe and not put out in the public arena. Social media is not replacing our need for close relationships and conversations that involve speaking rather than typing. But it is helping us to be part of the lives of so many more people than we used to be just 10 years ago.
Yesterday, with my mother’s permission, I posted on Facebook that she and I had spoken and that she was recovering well from her knee replacement surgery on Monday. By tagging her I was able to let her brother, cousins and aunts in Pennsylvania know that she is doing well, reassure her friends in Western Australia about her progress, fill in the family who live in the same country as her but who might not be aware of her surgery (it is a BIG family), and let my friends who know and love her know that she is fine. And that, on it’s own, is why I like social media.
Right. Now that I have emptied two of the busy thoughts from my busy brain I must hit the sewing machine as I have projects underway that need my attention! I can slip in casually though, that I bought an industrial compound feed sewing machine yesterday. As you do. (Insert me doing a gigantic happy dance here – cannot wait for it to arrive early next week!!!!!)
Oh – and I died my hair blue. Because I can. I have a big personal reason behind it, that I will share in a week or so (don’t worry – it is a good reason) but my explanation, shared on Facebook, is also true:
Yesterday I exercised creativity of a different kind and did something to make my children gasp in amazement, and to let my outward appearance be an expression of my inner dreams. This is the new colour of my hair – something my children have begged me to do for years. They are blown away that I actually did it and their excitement brings a huge smile to my face just thinking about it! ( my favourite quote “We were only joking and never thought you would really do it. This so cool!)
As for me? I love my life. Today I plan to create great things – and hopefully get some sewing done! Have a great day out there and think about how you might give people a little peek into your inner dreams – who knows where it will lead you!