Thursday, November 28, 2013

today, not quite summer

virtù - not quite a summer's day

Today the morning light was blinding.

Today I ate a bowl of rice bubbles in bed.

Today I watched a line of ants marching from the bathroom window to an unknown destination as I stood in the shower.

Today my children washed, dried and put away their breakfast dishes without me asking. They sang and danced as they worked. My heart beamed with pride.

Today I sewed hexagons as I supervised my mob swimming in the pool.

Today I pulled faces at my baby and made him smile. His eyes lit up and my soul soared.

Today my daughter spilled her glass of milk – again! I lay on her bed and read her a story about Mrs Wobbly who’d also been told off for spilling things. It made her feel better.

Today I rejoiced with my son about something to do with Skylanders – I don’t understand but I’m thrilled when he is thrilled.

Today I watered the garden with two-year old O. and later I held his hands as he jumped along with Dora.

Today I told my boys that they had the best sister in the world – she is so kind and such a good sharer. They’re all so lucky to have her.

Today I read junk mail with my kiddos before sneaking off for some secret elf work.

Today was a good day.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

haunted

virtù - stitches of love - white on white bassinet quiltvirtù - white on white bassinet quilt - stitches of pure love

Eight weeks today since baby Ace’s traumatic entry into the outside world. I’ve surprised myself by how well I’m doing mentally and emotionally, but there are times when it all creeps up on me and I break down into a blubbering mess.

This past week or so my thoughts have been pre-occupied with Latifa’s story.  Latifa, a Rohingyan woman from Myanmar, gave birth by emergency caesarean in Brisbane's Mater Hospital but was returned to a Brisbane detention centre after just four days, her newborn baby remaining in the neonatal intensive care unit. Latifa was only allowed  to visit her baby at the hospital between 10:00am and 4:00pm. How can this be? How can we as a community be so completely heartless?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I am so disturbed by this story. I can’t help but remember the desperate need I had to be with my own baby while he was in the special care nursery. My deep need to be with him, to hold him, to soothe him, to breast feed him. What is to be gained by torturing this mother and her newborn child? Her distress, pain and angst haunts me. My own experience so overwhelmingly painful seems small compared to Latifa’s experience. An unknown hospital, a foreign land, language and culture, a difficult birth, separated from family, no stable home, no secure future… and a sick newborn child. I have shed so many tears for her. I’m filled with shame that my community, my government, my people have allowed this to happen. For what?

virtù - random quilting stitches

And what about the newborn babe? A traumatic entry into this world, sick and needing his mother. Our government  without compassion for a child only four days old. How can it be? Where is the humanity? And what of his older siblings who are also held in detention? There mother would be sick and damaged from such a birth even in the best of circumstances. Were they kept from their mother whilst she was in hospital? Did they get to visit their newborn baby brother?

virtù - ace sleeps peacefully wrapped in love virtù - ace sleeping like an angel

And here lies my babe, just a few weeks older. Safe and secure in his home, with his family, sleeping peacefully in his bassinet wrapped in a quilt made with all his Mama’s love. Refashioned from a pillowcase that was part of cot sheet set, the cotton is lovely quality. He is so blessed, he is so safe with an optimistic future ahead. So much fortune … all afforded to him by luck. Lucky to be born into a family that lives in a safe and secure part of the world. Winners of a geographic lottery.

Dearest Latifa,  I think of you everyday, I shed a tear for you everyday. I am so sorry.

*******

White on White Bassinet Quilt

500mm x 720mm (19.5” x 29”)

Polar fleece batting

100% cotton blue gingham backing

Experimental hand and machine quilting using embroidery thread

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

{free pattern} wee willie winky newborn hat

virtù - newborn wee willie winky hat -  virtuallysally.blogspot.com.au
I just love Wee Willie Winky Hats. There is something about them that I find super adorable and cute. I was determined to knit one for Baby Ace but experienced real issues finding a pattern small enough for a newborn baby. That being the case I worked out my own pattern to fit my newborn baby boy. You can download the PDF pattern here.
Baby Ace’s newborn head circumference was 36cm. I knitted up the hat in 8ply cotton which is soft and not scratchy for my babe’s delicate little head.
virtù - newborn wee willie winky hat virtù - my little ace 

Monday, November 11, 2013

remembering

virtù - remembering

E. remembering his great grandfather for Anzac day earlier this year.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

six ace weeks

virtù - ace 6wks oldPossibly the fastest six weeks ever! Where have they gone?

Here is a collection of random points about now(ish)…

  • milk $1/litre; bananas $3.90/kg; petrol c.$1.40/ltr; adult movie ticket $19;
  • Tony Abbott Prime Minister (conservative party); Colin Barnet Premier of WA
  • hot political issues: turning back the boats, repealing carbon tax legislation, only one female minister in federal cabinet, budgetary cuts to funding scientists
  • #1 song in Australia: Roar by Katy Perry
  • big brother E loves Skylanders &  Phineas and Ferb. He also dreams of building a club room under the house that is accessed via a tunnel under his bunk bed.
  • big sister M loves the colour pink, chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. It is not understatement to say that she is obsessed. She also really enjoys practising her handwriting.
  • big brother O’s talking is really coming along, he has finally consented to wearing his floaties in the pool and is loving it, calls his dummy “me-me”
  • pantone colour of the year for 2013: Emerald
  • United States debt ceiling and Obamacare – federal government shut down
  • Philippines largest typhoon ever – estimated that ten thousand people have died
  • footy finals – Freo lost to Hawks in their first ever grandfinal the day before your birth

What do you think is note worthy about this particular time in the world?

{pinning in real life} up-cycled watering bottle

virtù - pinterest watering bottle from journey to a dream- a yay!I’ve been pinning like there’s no tomorrow in these parts. Might have caught myself a little bit of an addiction. Easy enough to happen when you’re either so heavily pregnant you need to call in the troops for assistance just to roll over and get out of bed or you yourself are pinned to the couch breast feeding a babe with only one hand free.

There is a certain satisfaction in “pinning” something. If I’ve pinned it then I’m one step closer to owning it or having made it myself. Lucky for me and my bank balance in many ways just pinning something satisfies the consumerist within. Sometimes once I’ve pinned it I don’t “need” it anymore. Strange.

Still there are some pins that I find so inspirational that I simply must follow through and actually bring them into  real life. There are times when I see something and I’m just overcome by its pure genius. This up-cycled watering bottle from ‘a journey to a dream’, pinned to my ♥ garden board,  is one such example. Brilliant. Especially so for those of us with more than one child wanting to help out in the garden. Also good for the older kids who like fire and melting things.

It didn’t take our family long to save the required amount of old milk bottles. These days little O. is drinking two litres of the white stuff a day. He just can’t seem to get enough. We had a fun afternoon sitting outside with a yarn needle and a candle melting holes in the tops of the lid. I think a few leaves might have been set on fire as well.  Nothing like a bit of fire play (under close supervision on a low risk fire danger day of course).

These little watering bottles are pure gems. Not so heavy that a child can’t carry it and no big openings for them to pour the water out in a flash. If you were cunning you might make them with fewer holes so that you’re not constantly at the hose topping up refills.  virtù - little O with his watering bottle

So Astra’s DIY watering bottle gets a big YAY from us. An absolute winner for sure.

Resplendent as the up-cycled watering bottle is… I don’t think little O. is going to make good progress filling up his paddling pool without the aid of the good ol’ garden hose.

virtù - little O trying to fill the pool...

Friday, November 8, 2013

spring + a quandary

Clear blue skies, light fresh breezes, radiant sunshine, pollen galore – spring in all its finery. The perfect time to get out and about, before summer hits and it is too hot to venture out of the shade.

virtù - at the farmvirtù - brooms at the farm

We spent a delightful morning at a local(ish) farm. I’m not your overwhelmed with awe and love for animals type – I like most of them well enough (or at least tolerate the variety with feathers) – being vegetarian I certainly pay animals my respect by not digesting them – but you’re not going to find lots of animal figurines on my shelves or posters on my walls, nor am I going to get all gushy when I see animals at a farm (although I am always keen for a ride on a horse). 

virtù - a strange place to happen upon a goatvirtù - the noisy roster

Even so, I do believe there is something marvellously magical about visiting a farm with a two year old. It is just the perfect age. I guess because farm animals dominate a two year olds’ literary experience – so many texts, songs, and tv shows are associated with farmyard animals. (Our all time favourite at this house is Peppa Pig – why oh why Peppa do you only run for five minutes????)

virtù - transportation hat

O. certainly had a wonderful time. He sure did enjoy communicating with the residents in their native tongues - ‘neigh’, ‘moo’, ‘quack quack’ and ‘coockadoodledoo’.

And I can tick off the list a finished sun hat for the boy – cut out  during last summer and finally sewn and completed before this next one begins – just!

virtù - chuffed

He seems well enough chuffed.

And now to ponder a creative quandary. This sunhat that has taken the best part of a year to make, (although probably no more than a couple of hours of actual labour) has been made from fabric that I had ‘fallen out of love with’. There it was in the stash and I was left wondering what I was thinking when I bought it. Obviously I loved it at the time (or perhaps I loved the price?) but as time had passed there were no fond feelings left. It was chosen because the hat was intended for daycare and the inevitable lost-property-black-hole. I suppose the project took so long to finish because the fabric was not loved, that and the crazy decision to invest so much energy and toil for something that was expected to only have a fleeting presence.  It all seemed just a little too ill-fated.

Yet here I am now – with the memories of a lovely morning visiting the farm animals and some super sweet pics of my dear boy in the ill-fated hat and all is forgiven, the investment seems worthwhile, perhaps the hat will not be sent to daycare, not at least straight away.

Have you ever fallen out of love with fabric only to find your feelings rekindled once part of a project? Or once out of love do you file for divorce and de-stash?