Sunday, January 29, 2012

relief

It’s been hot here peeps. Real hot. Yesterday was 42°C, the day before was similar, not the best weather to be hooking the border on Baby O’s ripple blanket. For the time being it has been tossed aside. Clearly if it is too hot for me to hook it then it is too hot for him to sleep under it.

Crafty motivation is low in such heat. I’d rather be swimming or lazing about next to the fan.

I have been making some slow progress hooking my big boys belated birthday present, but still away off from finishing.

take another guess?

Go on. Take another guess?

Today though is beautiful. Much cooler. Low thirties with a fresh breeze. It is beautiful. We’ve been to the beach and baby O had his first swim in the ocean. He wasn’t overwhelmed – puzzled and intrigued perhaps. He seemed to neither like it or loathe it. He looked so adorable in his bathers. No photos though. I took the trashy camera with us but it stopped working just as we made it to the beach. I was a little disappointed because the boy did look so adorable and squishy in his bathers and cap. Too cute. Perhaps I over rely on my camera. Sometimes I think I outsource my grey matter to the SD card… today though I’ll have to use the old fashioned brain-card to remember the gorgeousness of it all.

I’m off outside now. Got some school uniforms to hem for a friend who is trying to get another terms wear out of last year’s kit. Also going to hem the pink doily pants and take in the waist band. Not the most glamorous crafty pursuits but will be lovely lounging next to the pool in the fresh breeze.

Do you hem by hand or use the machine? I’ve been doing these school uniforms by hand with tiny little stitches. I’ve always just hemmed my own way. I wonder if there is a “right” or proper way to hem. I sometimes use the machine for shorts or pants. And come to think about it I’ve used the machine for skirts too. I’m not sure what reasoning I employ in my decision to hem by hand or machine… maybe it all just depends on the weather!

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Oooo… I almost forgot to let you know that E was better(ish) at his second go at having his blood taken. Good enough for them to get enough out of him anyway. At the end of the ordeal I noted an anti-climatic glimmer in his eye so I think next time will be even better. The phlebotomist said he was so brave he could have two stickers. That made his day for sure. We’ve got the EpiPens now and I’ve watched loads of videos online about how to use them. Have another doctors appointment tomorrow for her to go through it all with me. I’m feeling heaps better about it all now. Less freaked for sure. Just had to get some more know how about it all. Thanks so much for all your supportive comments.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

when a friend turns into a killer

friendly bee

 

via

Mr Bee. He used to be my friend. A happy and welcome visitor to my garden, working his magic to help my garden grow.

But now I know him in a different light.

Killer Bee via

Yesterday I learnt that he poses a real and significant risk to my son’s safety.

We’re going to have to carry an EpiPen at all times, my son will have to spend a day in hospital being poked and prodded and then have a monthly injection for the next three years. Yep. Three years! Yesterday we went to the pathologist so that E’s blood could be taken, he totally freaked out. He has had blood tests before and been fine but I suppose he is just that little bit older now, that little bit more aware. He was absolutely terrified. It was awful. The phlebotomist couldn’t get enough blood because he was so stressed. We have to go back to try again tomorrow.

After the horrid experience we came home to have a swim, a chance to relax and unwind after the ordeal. It wasn’t relaxing at all. There were so many bees. There always have been because they’re drawn to the water. It never used to bother me before, but now it does. Now all my maternal instincts are on high alert and whilst I’m saying “we just have to be careful not scared” I’m pretty much terrified on the inside and have doubts that my performance of confidence is convincing.

On Monday we have another appointment with the doctor so that she can teach me how to use the EpiPen. I’m hoping after that I’ll feel more relaxed. More empowered and less terrified.

Maybe in time I can be friends with Mr. Bee again, but just now I’m rather angry with him.

Are bees your friend or foe?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

what do you think it is?

can you guess

I’m hooking my big boy a little birthday present. I’ve missed the deadline but he doesn’t mind. He is very gracious like that.

Can you guess what it is?

Monday, January 23, 2012

five

five years

My big boy is five. Wow. We’ve had an awesome day celebrating. Opening presents in the wee hours of the morning and then playing and playing with all the loot. E. also earned a merit certificate at swimming lessons. Bravo! We went to Sizzler for a meal, that consisted of a lot of ice cream, and then watched The Muppets movie. Awesome family fun day. 

five months

My little boy is five months. He has been rolling and rolling and rolling and rolling. No longer can you put him down on the floor and expect to find him in the same place when you return. He continues to be a bundle of joy, a very jolly lad indeed.

My boys! Both born on Tuesdays and both born on the twenty-third day of the month. Both celebrating five.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

pink doily pants

pink doily pantsdoily detail

Sweet pink cord doily pants for a sweet girl celebrating turning five. Gifted un-hemmed so that when she visits later in the week we can get the fit “just right”. Do you think it is okay to do that? Give pants that haven’t been hemmed yet?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

where it’s at

I’ve got two knitting needles and ball of wool!

knitting

It’s the beginning. I’ve just been going and going – trying to get a rhythm. Trying to get my head around it. Look at it. Figure it out. Laugh. Enjoy. Take pride.

holey moley

There are holes.

stitches missed

Missed stitches.stitches in a tangle

Stitches crossed over and in a tangle. (Still haven’t worked out how I do this mistake!)

holey, wonky, crossed It’s a wonky, holey moley mess. I started with 44 stitches and I’m up to 52! Mmm. There is more to be worked out. I’m having fun. Learning is fun. I like to learn new things. I like when we’ve met people this week my children yell (and yes they’re yelling really really loudly) at people that their Mama is learning to knit. Not “Hi nice to see you” but jumping up and down with excitement, unintelligible loud noise that when translated is a proud exclamation of my learning. Noice. I’m chuffed (… and a little surprised that they noticed – they’re very busy you know).

Remember when I learnt to crochet? That was all wonky and messy too.

Off to Brown Owls today for lots of knitting action. Maybe some of these issues will be resolved by the end of the day… or maybe not.

It’s fun to record where we start don’t you think? Fun to look back later on and see how far we’ve come?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

pj * 3

3 PJs for mePJ Pants

On the weekend I completed my first sewing project for 2012; three pyjama pants for me. Yep. For me. I’ve been in some desperate need for new PJ pants. Something decent enough to run out to the bin at the front of the house. These are a bit of a bargain too. I picked up the material for $2/metre at Spotty so these pants cost just $4 each. Yay. I really like. They’re very comfy. I’ve been wearing the yellow ones. I feel a little bit spiffy in them. So much so that I’ve been tossing them on the vanity rather than on the bathroom floor when I take my shower. That’s as good as it gets at this house.

PJ Pants in bathroom

Sunday, January 15, 2012

knitting(ish)

knitting(ish)

Today did not go to plan. This morning the swelling in E’s hand had spread to his elbow and whilst his lips and tongue were no longer swollen the advice from the health direct telephone service was to go see a doctor. Being a Sunday in Perth that meant a trip to PMH. I was hoping to avoid hospitals in 2012, nothing to be done about it though. He was given some medicine and a sling and tonight is feeling much better.

This unexpected event threw my day out of wack and I struggled to find momentum. Stealing some quiet moments this afternoon I summed up the courage to start trying to learn how to knit. And it really was a matter of sucking it up and having a go. Knitting has terrified me for some time now and yet at the same time last year I was all excited about 2012 because that was the year I was going to learn to knit. Of course once it was 2012 I started to freak out. What if my Nan was right and I really am a lost cause, hopeless?

Next Saturday there will be an opportunity to learn how to knit with the Brown Owls mob so I thought it best to have a go first on my own so I at least knew the kind of questions I had and what I needed help with.  I’ve worked out the slip knot, the one needle cast on and the first row of knitting – well the basic principles anyway. What I am struggling with is what to do when stitches fall off my needle and how to manage the tension of my stitches. I must be tense today as my stitches are really tight and need to loosen up a bit me thinks. A sign of my day I suppose.

As I get ready for bed my needles are empty. I’ve knitted and unravelled. Knitted and dropped stitches and unravelled. Knitted and unravelled. And so on and so on. It is all good practice I suppose. Would have been nice to have something to show for my efforts… not to worry – the journey has started.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

donating

a heart

Overall it has been rather an uneventful day in these parts, except for E. being stung by a bee and his hand  swelling up to twice the size, then his bottom lip and tongue swelling up too. I guess with a family of five someone is going to have or make drama. In general though it has been a rather ho-hum day. We’ve been cleaning the shed and the laundry putting as much as we can on the verge. Quite a bit of stuff we knew would be snapped up straight away by the people driving up and down the streets in their trucks and utes. Considering ourselves too time poor to undertake the process of selling such stuff we chalked it up as donations.

We filled the car’s boot too with lots of “nice” stuff to be taken to the charity bins. More donations.

I like donating. I feel lighter. As I explained to E. this morning – “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. It really is all about perspective. Giving things to people makes me feel good.

One of the primary reasons I like to make gifts for the people I love is to show them how truly special they are to me. How not only did I give them a material and tangible item, but also my time, my thoughts, my love and a little bit of my soul. There is a little bit of me in everything I make. That’s what creativity is isn’t it? An expression of our imaginations, dreams and self.

I enjoy giving to people I don’t know too. There is always a brilliant and joyous feeling radiating, almost bursting, from within whenever I put a gift under a tree for an unknown child at Christmas. I was walking on air for the rest of the day the time I paid for a stranger’s shopping at an oppy. Doing good things make me feel good. Giving and donating is doing a good thing.

So that brings me to questions posed as part of the filmlife blogger challenge. The filmlife project and blogger challenge is a collaboration with Donate Life Week 2012 aiming to encourage and inspire young people to really think about, and discuss with their loved ones their thoughts and wishes on organ donation. I read about this project on Cam’s blog. She is waiting for a double lung transplant.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Here goes my contribution to the conversation:

1. What’s your take on or experience with organ donation, and why did you choose to take part in the FilmLife Blogger Challenge?

Up until recently I have had no direct experience or exposure to organ donation. I’ve been registered as an organ donor for years and years – ever since I got my driver’s license in New South Wales way back when. I can’t remember if I had to indicate on my license if I wanted to be an organ donor here in Western Australia. If the question was posed I would have indicated that I wanted to donate. It’s not really important anyway, I’m on the national register and all those near and dear to me are aware that if I meet an untimely end I’d like to donate my organs. You just can’t take stuff with you.

One aspect of death that I at times struggle with is the lack of control I’ll have at this one known event of my life. How does the saying go? There are two certainties in life; death and taxes. Donating my organs, the last of my trash, the ultimate declutter is something that I can control. And what treasure it will hopefully be for another person, their family, their friends and their community.

Megan, who I orginally met online and then in real life, and who I craft with at Brown Owls had a transplant this year. One minute we were joking that she felt tired all the time because she’d hit thirty and the next moment she was waiting for a liver transplant and then, thankfully she received one. It was a very very close call for her. This entire experience occurred after my darling baby O was born. He is still a wee babe and all of these really really big things happened to Megan in his lifetime. That blows me away. Frankly it can be a bit of a head f*ck too when you start to really think about it, digest it, toss it about in your mind. I can’t even begin to imagine how she processes such big events in such as small amount of time in her mind. WOWA. Full. On.

Anyway – who ever that beautifully kind person was who donated their liver didn’t just donate it to Megan, they donated it to me too. I love hanging out with Megan, crafting and chatting away. I look forward to it every month. I love reading her blog too. I’m hoping she’ll help me learn how to knit this year. So you can see… organ donation goes well beyond the person.

On a different take all together I also like the idea of being an organ donor because I’ve always enjoyed post-modern, post-structural and post-colonial studies and in some way the idea of my organs have a post-Sally existence is really uber cool. Fascinating. Ace. Ok. Maybe it isn’t that interesting to ponder for everyone but it is to me.

Lastly,  one of the simplest reasons I wish to be an organ donor is that I’ve always loved giving, sharing and donating. How powerful for this to be the very last thing I do with my body in my life. What a wonderful start to the memory of me.

2. If you were to donate your organs, which one would you love to donate, and why? (nb. this question is intentionally quirky so feel free to be creative and have some fun with it)

Frankly I’m not sure that my organs are in great nick. I’m taking better care of them these days though but there was a time, pre children that my lifestyle wasn’t so kind to my body. Prior to Megan having her transplant I had no idea just how big the liver was… so perhaps that would be a good one so that I end with the scales being just a little bit lighter. Do they do that? Weigh you at the very end. Oh my. Now isn’t that a horrific thought. Please someone tell me that once I’m gone no one is going to put my body on a set of scales and record the weight… and if they do please someone make sure that all my organs have been donated before they do!!!

(Nah – just joking – like I care how much I weigh when I’m dead. I barely care about it alive)

I wonder if they’d want my liver. Aside from drinking too excess I’ve had malaria twice. Mmm?

Perhaps my heart would be best. It beats well, and has a good sense of rhythm.

Honestly – have it all. It will be no good to me.

3. Who in your family would you need to talk to about organ donation, to be sure your loved ones knew your wishes?

My partner knows that I’m one hundred percent up for organ donation. My parents and brother are also aware. Dave has told his family his intentions to be a donor too. We figured tell everyone so that there were no awkward conversations or unwanted pressures at the time of the decision/event.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

If you would like to join in with this challenge put together the three questions and answers and head over to CurlyPops' blog and join in the linky!

To register yourself on the organ donation register here in Australia, go here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

six dollar date night

crappy coffee the date the mood lighting stick in the mug sleeping baby at the end

My love and I don’t get out much. We have a night out sans children once a year. Now that Ms M. is three she can go to supervised play area at IKEA so tonight my love and I signed the eldest two children into the crèche before heading upstairs to the bistro for a cup of coffee and some un-interrupted, almost romantic, conversation. It was sweet. The moment was treasured and relished by us both. After the hour was up we collected the kids and treated them each to a $1 kids meal. Bargain. A six dollar date night.

cutting

cutting out unchained melodythird colour green

The ambition of completing all WIPs before starting a new project has been abandoned. Today I am cutting. Hopefully I’ll be sewing too. I need some new pyjama pants.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

beware the cherry tomato gobbler

Well not really. One of the key reasons I like to grow food is so that my children have the opportunity to harvest and consume food in the garden at their leisure. Ms. M has a keen eye for little red cherry tomatoes so the chances of finding little red ones on the vine are slim to none.

cherry tomato eater chilli eggplant
cucmber her finds more chillis
red chillis pretty pink flower no ripe ones left
vine ripened tomatoes lemons to come view from the trampoline

This morning we got out early to enjoy our outdoor space. Lovely. I relished the morning cool spending perhaps rather too long just lying on the children’s new trampoline sky gazing. E and Ms. M were running laps around the house and then later riding their bikes. I envy their boundless energy.

Courgettes with Rice

Courgettes with Rice served with olives.

This afternoon I cooked dinner, but alas not using produce from the garden. I made Courgettes with Rice. Again this year I have struggled growing zucchini. It is totally ridiculous. Zucchini are one of the easiest things ever to grow and yet I’ve struck out on a bumper crop for the second summer in a row. The recipe I followed this evening was ridiculous also. So many steps. Forty five minutes on the stove and then forty five minutes in the oven… all to cook a zucchini. I was getting rather frustrated with the process. Especially while it was on the stove and I had to keep jumping out of the pool to run inside and stir the stew like mixture. Still it was yummy. Maybe I’d make it again. Not sure.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

the last sunflower

last flower the last sunflower

Summer and sunflowers. The two go hand in hand for me. The attainment of happiness is just that little bit easier on a warm day surrounded by cheery yellow blooms. Whilst I was organised enough to sow the sunflower seeds twelve weeks out from Christmas so that they’d be in full bloom for our festive celebrations I neglected to then sow more seeds over the following weeks so that we had flowers flourishing for longer. Aside from this last flower now on our kitchen counter the flowers are spent, waiting to be ripped from the ground tomorrow.

flower t-shirt

I finished another t-shirt refashion this week using the last of the sunflower swatch gifted by Cherie. Not too many WIPs from the great cupboard de-clutter left to complete. I’m loving the sweet buttons that I re-discovered in my collection. I remember them from my own childhood.

I’ll be spending some extra time in the garden over the coming week. There is a bulk waste verge collection soon so its time to get out in the garden and prune, sweep, weed. Despite being neglected in 2011 it is doing quite well, but time that it got some extra loving care in the year to come.

How is your garden surviving the summer?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

an end to the rippling

ripple 7.1.12

The ripples are finished. The balls of yarn no longer as grand and full as they were before hook was taken to hand and the ripples began.

The festive season over my father had another doctor’s appointment this week for more tests. The outlook looks like treatment without surgery will be a good option. Once again though there are more appointments to be had before a final determination and decision is made.

Meanwhile my baby is transitioning from the bassinet in our room to his cot in his own room at the other end of the house. Perhaps it is me that is transitioning really. I’m getting used to him not being so close to hand when he has his day times naps and going to bed of an evening without him by my side. Still he ends up in our room by morning so we still have our special huggy time before sunrise signals the imminent invasion by the older siblings.

All the ends are woven in, so now it is time to start working on a border. Despite being the middle of summer it is actually rather cool here today, a high of only 24°C very unusual for this time of year indeed, but perfect for sitting back in the recliner watching baby O sleep in his cot as I hook away. The rhythmic sounds of him breathing better than any music.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

looking back looking forward

the year begins

Don’t you just love my Christmas present from E.. It’s the self-portrait calendar, not the apron. It’s hanging on the inside of our pantry door. Lots on it already!!!

So aside from a bumping first day to the year 2012 has been travelling along rather nicely. For the most part we’ve been getting on and having fun. Our usual caper – lots and lots of water play but mostly the pool and the new slip and slide since it is a bit tricker to get to the beach with three smalls. I’m not brave enough to go with three children on my own yet.

It’s time to set some goals for this year. Looking back at last years I might have been a tad ambitious, especially considering that I knew I was pregnant when I wrote the list…

2011 creative goals:

Crochet: hook something for myself to wear, a blanket for Ms. M

Sewing: make more things for myself, learn to use knitted fabric, have a go using a twin needle

Embroidery: keep practicing french knots and smock something!

Photography: do online photography course and spend more time learning about photoshop

Printing: get back into it!

Around the home: finish the native garden at the front of our house, paint the house, paint my bedroom, paint the lounge room. Blah! …oh yeah – and get a new oven.

Still I managed to get some things crossed off.

For 2012 I’m not going with the same format for my goals, rather this year I’ll carry over all the bits and bobs that weren’t crossed off last year’s list and add the aim of making something for myself every month. That means at the end of the year I should have twelve new things made for myself by myself. I’m worth it.

What about you? What are your creative goals for 2012?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

and now it is 2012

I’m prone to being a little bit superstitious and a little bit theatrical. Sometimes I just can’t help myself in spite of an abundance of reasoning and rationale. Instinctively I am more of an intuitive beast than a logical one. So today after rather a ho-hum, dare I say ‘bad’ day, I am left wondering if this is what 2012 has in store for me. Should I just surrender now and throw myself under a rock for the next 365 days? Is it a sign, a symbol, a metaphor of what to expect for this revolution of the almighty sun?

Or perhaps I should just interpret today’s events in a paradigm of “the only way is up”?

The tiny tiny reasonable (and somewhat squeaky) voice within tells me not to interpret or place too much significance on the drama of today at all. It is after all just another day. My four and three year olds are not in on some universal conspiracy to spoil the entire year.

… but sometimes I just can’t help myself.

Do you sometime place too much significance on events? “Read” them as you would some finely crafted novel rather than just the randomness of everyday life.