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I’ve been finding it difficult over the last few months to find the time and head space for adding to this space, my scrapbook of little things that make life happy.  My adorable twinnies are proving very challenging of late, and I seem to be leaping from cleaning up one disaster to dealing with yet another tantrum.  I was somewhat comforted to learn that 3 1/2 is an especially difficult age where littlies are seeking to learn through pushing the boundaries.  Hard.  Oh yes, and I have two of them.  Add testosterone-boosted Mr Six into the picture, and it’s not pretty.  Not usually one to embrace self-help books, I’ve been finding this one by turns frightening, comforting, challenging and compelling.  At least I know that it is a stage, and this too shall pass.  I’m just hopeful that I can deal with it in the most positive way possible.

But now, in a brief moment of respite as said children are frolicking in the botanic gardens with the usually shift-working Mr Foxy, I can add some snippets to the scrapbook.

Recently I welcomed the year of the dragon under the assumption that this will be a great year for me, having been born in the year of the dragon.  I was keen to mark the occasion and forced everyone to visit the new year celebrations at Box Hill.  Amongst the music and bustling stalls, we found respite at the Fo Guang Yuan activity table.  While the kids coloured in dragon puppets, I learnt how to make paper lotus flowers.

It had been so long since I had made anything, yet alone learned a new trick.  I just had to make more.  I used three kinder squares cut in half, but the instructions found here used an A4 sheet cut up, so it would be great for recycling used paper too.

In other news I have caught the Pinterest bug.  So dangerously inspiring.  My excuse? Bookmarking ideas for our new home.  Yes, it is really happening and we have the plans to prove it.  I’m also enjoying this magazine with its cute ideas and lack of reliance on costly items.

Hardly timely news, but young Mr. R started school this year.  There were no tears, just much excitement, pride in a new uniform and school bag, and a fair bit of uncertain clinginess.  I have always worried about this, as I tend to remember the less positive aspects of my own school days, but I feel reassured that current schooling methods are more sensitive to, well, sensitive kids.  What I wasn’t counting on was the extent of the change to our day-to-day life and routines.  Apart from the hectic double drop off before work, there is a whole new community that we are part of.  Kind of wonderful, but also kind of exhausting.

Went to places full of history and folklore

stayed in the city and by the sea

found cushions to match our outfits

and travelled home through places of nostalgia and remembrance.

  • frolicking in the winter sunshine after a long drive.  (Large fallen citrus fruits double as balls)
  • making flourless orange cake from home-grown oranges (I used Jill Dupleix’s version of Claudia Roden’s recipe from New Food)
  • slow cooked dinners (Tessa Kiros’s beef and carrot stew and bolognaise-esque ragu) and hot puddings (apple crumble and lemon delicious)
  • a boy who wants to help with baking (or does he just want to lick out the bowl?)
  • knitting in red and red and grey.  The aim was to make a quick woollie for growing girls, but I ran out of wool.  While waiting for more, I accidentally cast on another Shetland triangle shawl … and a cowl
  • finally finishing the cardigan, a supersized version of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s February Baby Jacket.  Not finding it easy to go out and buy buttons so considering covering some that I found in the sewing box.  Hedgehog-printed cotton on red wool – what do you think..?

  • enjoying listening to podcasts while rinsing dishes and stacking the dishwasher, and – if I’m lucky – while knitting.  Currently engaging are classic novels and chat via CraftLit, Cast On back catalogue and Fibre Beat.
  • for the under-two’s, talking is the new walking.  Long time favorites are “bird”, “shoes” and “(ba)nana”, but vocabularies are quickly expanding.
  • seeing Toy Story 3 at the cinema.  I probably don’t get out enough, but this was the best film I’ve seen in ages!  Funny and heartbreaking.  (Anyone else in tears at the end?)
  • noticing that spring is in the air, the wattle is in flower and blossom is starting to appear in the neighbourhood.

Late Autumn, and this is what some of the vegetable patch at the Children’s Garden looks like at the moment.  A common theme in the bloggy world that I enjoy is acknowledging and celebrating seasons, cycles, special times and anniversaries. 

Not as auspicious as some anniversaries, but I just realised that it is one year to the day since I starting blogging. 

I started on a whim, without many expectations.  I had enjoyed reading about the creative/domestic lives of others, and wanted in some way to have a journal, a scrapbook, a chance for some dialog with people who like similar things or have similar experiences.   Best of all I now feel like I have made some good bloggy friends, whose blogs I regularly visit and am inspired by, and who leave me cheerful, informative and supportive comments.  And that contact, virtual or actual, makes life more enjoyable.

Thanks so much for visiting me.

Things that are inspiring and delighting me at the moment …

  • Cooking with my boy.  Anzac biscuits and “Gingerbread men” again, this time using Nigella’s biscuit recipe from How to Eat.  A winner.
  • Actually LEAVING THE HOUSE without children to see some beautiful films in the Jacques Demy program at the Melbourne Cinemateque.  Sigh!  Followed by very fine tapas and drinks at Movida.
  • Attending a real life Stitch’n Bitch meetup, in person, and spending some quality knitting time with some lovely ladies.
  • A lovely box in the mail.  I bid on a couple of items in the Uniform Project‘s accessory auction, not expecting success, and actually won both.  The 365 days of reinventing the little black dress have ended, and apart from raising money for educating underprivileged kids, Sheena has made so many rethink their consumption of clothing.  Limitation inspires creativity.
  • Soba noodles – everybody here likes them!
  • Following Amy‘s example, I have graduated to washing my hair with bicarb soda and cider vinegar – shampoo free via Beauty and the Bees hair washing soap.  I feel a small sense of triumph at this.
  • Being able to wear my woollies again.
  • Dragons and knights and dinosaurs and Peter Pan!

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Grandma Twinkle Garland

Grandma Bunting

standing ovation



pears green

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