Monday, March 31, 2014

just a minute… in March

A busy month, celebrating my partner Dave’s birthday and enjoying summer’s last hurrah before the equinox and change of season. Now at the end of the month the kiddos are all taking their turns at being ill. Coughs, mucus, snot, tiredness and crankiness abounds. The cooler weather has bought a sense of relief too.

virtù - a sweet gift virtù - O water play at school pick up virtù - siblings having fun together

Listening: to the footy on the “wireless”. Well I’m not actively doing that, nor do I refer to the radio as the “wireless” – that’s my partner’s old man terminology - but now that the footy season is under way there is that familiar chatter and call of the game in the background of most spaces, inside and out, on a weekend. Also been listening to the occasional podcast here and there. I like listening to chatter on the radio – All Things Considered  and Life Matters are my traditional favourites but I have been trying to listen to new shows.

Girls_HBO_Poster

Watching: The HBO TV series Girls. It is cringe worthy, but even so I am enjoying it. I can so relate to it, from a time in my life that now seems so long ago. Watching it I realise just how old I’ve become. It is not simply a bitter realisation – growing old is better than the alternative, and watching these insecure girls making their way through their twenties allows me to appreciate that I have indeed become more self assured. Not entirely – I am still wracked with self doubt – but in other ways and I suppose at least I can now recognise it. There is more to ponder here… maybe I’ll be able to formulate my thoughts better when I start watching season 2.

Knitting: Finished a chunky pink jumper for M and started another pink sweater her in a stash busting effort. Also started knitting wash cloths in response to this request. Trying not to hang out too often in Ravelry – so many great knits I want to add to my queue…

a top for me

Sewing:  Actually finished sewing a top for myself this month. I started this project as the summer started in 2012 and then stopped with just the next binding to attach… and then it sat and sat for over a year. Granted I was tired pregnant and then with a new baby, but even still that must set some sort of record for slow progress. I love the colour, love the butterfly pattern but pretty much hate the polyester material. It just doesn’t breathe. I’ve never bought material like this before, but it was an impulse buy – heavily reduced at Spotty. Also finished off some shorts for the boys, a dress for the girl and a quilt. reading dirt music at the beach

Reading: Dirt Music by Tim Winton at the beach; old fashioned newspapers – the ones printed on paper to show my children what they are before they become extinct; and Strawberry Shortcake Phonics Readers with M. who is super enthusiastic about learning to read. virtù - baby snails in the garden

Gardening:  There was a council verge collection this month. Lots and lots of cleaning out the shed and tidying up the garden. Found these baby snails on the bottom of a geranium leaf. They’re super small. It left me wondering how snails are born. Haven’t googled it yet. But it is fascinating that they start out so small, their shells translucent like. Not a fan of snails in my garden though, drowning by beer is my favoured solution. Leave a bit of beer out in a take away container at night, at least they get to have a party before their demise.

virtù - shell hunting in the waters

Playing: At the beach. I’ve come to notice that our family actually spends quite a bit of time at the beach. We had our last swim for the summer on Dave’s birthday. I knew at the time it would be our last swim, it is commonly hot on his birthday and then in just the few weeks until my own the season changes. E. was dunked a proper for the first time by a decent wave, head bashed into the sand, chin grazed with gravel rash and what he regards as a near death experience. There were many declarations about him never ever ever swimming at the beach again, but a couple days later and he conceded that perhaps he would one day swim in the ocean again. He’ll have to wait to the next summer now. We have been to the beach since, on a mission to collect shells as part of a school assignment. O found it a challenge to stay out of the waves and not get wet.

virtù - last swim of the summer

So how has March been for you?

If you want to JaM along with me be sure to leave a link in the comments section.

ice cream at the park

ice cream at the park quilt - a giftice cream at the park quilt - detailice cream at the park quilt - signed

I started making this quilt last year after I read this story . Already I had been making it in my mind, thinking of the fabrics that I had, the colours that I wanted to add and the design that would suit best, and after making a tiny bassinet quilt for my own babe I set about making this one. I’ve named it  Ice Cream at the Park because the colours remind me of ice cream (not sure why – I don’t think I have ever eaten blue ice cream) and subsequently I have noticed that in the patterned fabric there are indeed some images of an ice cream cart.

I contacted my local member hoping that he’d be able to obtain a delivery address for Latifa, it intended recipient, who is an asylum seeker in indefinite detention. I can’t fathom what that must be like, not to know a date in the future when you’d be free to take your children for an ice cream at a local park – a simple pleasure that I, winner in the geographical birth lottery,  take for granted. I was so pleasantly surprised that he (or a staff member) got back to me within twenty-four hours with contact and delivery details. My own politics being on the left of things it is unlikely that I would ever vote for him, but it is nice to know that he’s working for me all the same. Actually he seems like a pretty good bloke, bit of a thing for polo shirts but I can forgive him that.

It took me a while to decide how to label this quilt. In many ways I think this has been the great hold up in getting it finished – that and raising four small children of my own. In the end I decided on “Sally Made” because that is was I have put on the two of the four other quilts I have made (the other two have been “Mama made” since they were destined for my own children) and then added “for Latifa’s baby, Farus, Australia 2013”. I searched and searched through newspaper articles looking for the baby’s name. The receptionist at the detention centre couldn’t pass on any details about the baby or Latifa due to privacy reasons – that by the way I totally respect. Hope the journalist got bub’s name right. Even though I didn’t finish the quilt until this weekend I went with “Australia 2013” because this is where and when baby was born, and to me that is very important to document.

I’m so thrilled with how it has turned out. I really really love it. I am pleased too about this because it is hard for me to part with it. I could easily have saved it for my own babe and enjoyed it. Knowing that I would have it for myself make it feel like a better gift. I’ve sewn all my hope and dreams for a safe and prosperous future into this quilt. I know it is such a small gesture but as my eldest son recently reminded me as I dragged him around Spotlight starving one afternoon directly after school pick-up to get more fabric for the binding “every small gesture counts”. I was super chuffed and proud of him for these words. He and his sister were about to totally crack it and have a meltdown that afternoon (I’d forgotten to pack any snacks which was my bad) but when I explain who we were shopping for they really pulled it all together and were passionate about getting the fabric and allowing me the time to get the binding on. The entire family celebrated its completion, we all feel that we’ve put a little bit of ourselves into it.

Today it is in the post and on its way…

  

***************

Ice Cream in the Park Quilt

1005mm x 1320mm x    (39½” x  52”)

cotton printed fabric from stash + cotton solids from Spotlight

grey solid for sashing, binding and backing

100% cotton batting

in the ditch machine quilting

Sunday, March 30, 2014

13/52

mae - wears a balloon on her head (as you do)ebe - my scientistode - not feeling wellace - a book in hand

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

    

mae – wears a balloon on her head … as one does.

ebe – my budding scientist – he’s been learning about mixtures at school and makes his own at home

ode – snuggles in my bed to watch telly when he doesn’t feel well

ace – has a book in hand

     

Joining in with Jodi.

 

A quarter of the year gone already, here are some portraits of taken with my mobile phone – just a bit of fun really – and yet they provide such lovely insights into the most special  people in my life.

my mob

1. ebe a Freo supporter   2. mae getting her hair cut   3. ode LOVES cups of tea   4. ace takes it all in

Saturday, March 29, 2014

six months

ace - six months

My baby boy is six months old already. With each child the time has flown by faster and faster. I truly ruly can’t believe my babe is half a year old already, and yet somehow it’s hard to think of a life without him.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

binding

sewing on the binding

So close to the end. It has been my intention to finish this quilt for such a long time. Sewing the binding is all that remains. Life in all its forms; weather, children, schedules, illness, celebrations - has been in my way. Today though there was time to make a little progress, cuddled up with a sick kiddo in bed watching ABC 4 Kids stitches were made. Tiny steps towards an end.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

12/52

mae - climbing the rocksace - tummy timeebe - cleaning the guttersode - wants to climb on the roof

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

  

mae – climbing the rocks on the groyne

ace – tummy time and smiles

ebe – sitting in the frangipani cleaning the gutters

ode – wants to be on the roof too!

   

Joining in with Jodi.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

goofy brother time

virtù - skateboard shorts for my little boysvirtù - skateboard shorts for my little boys (2)virtù - skateboard shorts for my little boys (3)virtù - skateboard shorts for my little boys (4)

My boys goofing around together in their Mama made skateboard shorts. They sure do have fun together – the littlest very tolerant of his older brother’s play style. So sweet. From the moment little Ace was born there has been an incredibly strong bond between them, O very possessive and protective of his young sibling. I watch them sharing jokes, glances, a common understanding.

The drill skateboard fabric was purchased before O. was conceived – the original intention to make some shorts for E. These shorts were started last year before summer, but one thing or another has prevented them from getting finished. Finally ticked of the list.

Linking up with Leonie and Kirtsy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

in preparation

virtù - pink chunky rolled neck sweater

A pink chunky jumper for my Ms. M ready for the colder months. I’m quite chuffed with myself for having this ready before the wintery seasons begin. Also pretty stoked that I was mindful enough to knit it up in a size worthy to grow into. No chance of it being modelled by M. just yet though (it looks a bit distorted on the adult sized hanger), the weather is still too warm for it. There are signs of changing seasons though, colder mornings and evenings.

Loving this pattern so much. Last year I knitted one (sans pocket) for my big boy, now I am starting to dream of one more for little O. No new yarn though, I’m stash busting yarn too!

Ravelled

Sunday, March 16, 2014

11/52

ace - kicking backebe - my thinkermae - writing on her Dada's birthday cardode - enchanted with his Dada's birthday candles   

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

 

kicking back – baby is ace sure is one laid back baby, even with two teeth threatening to break through any day now. It is perhaps only a matter of weeks now until he will be too big for his bassinet.

thinker – this boy of mine has a mind that just doesn’t seem to stop. There is always something going on in there.

Dada’s girl – mae writes a long message on her father’s birthday card. Devoted to her Dada she really really wanted it to be special, her message was full of love.

my birthday? – Ode hussled in on his Dada’s birthday cake candle action, it was ablaze.

   

Joining in with Jodi.

Monday, March 10, 2014

happy hands

virtù - cherry dress & happy hands

The stash busting continues in these parts. A fat quarter of some cherry material and a load of green cotton homespun that I bought with the intention of making surgical dress-ups. I did make some doctors dress-up for the mob ages ago but still had a handsome amount left over. Finally it has been used up. Managed to use up some buttons and small pieces of lace from the stash too. Feeling good about using things and wondering why I “save” them in the first place.

The dress is made using an Ottobre pattern, the same pattern I used to make her second birthday dress. It seems like a lifetime ago and yet only yesterday. How can that be? 

At five years old my little M. is perfecting her “happy hands” pose!  And those pink ballet flats, worn out and almost out grown – she prances and dances and spins and twirls her way through the day. Happy.

10/52

Ace - plays peek a boo in the sun shelter Ebe - excavates sandMae - wades into the oceanOde - found toy on the beach   a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

     

player – Ace enjoys a game of peek-a-boo while he hangs out in his sun-shelter at the beach

excavator – Ebe digs and digs in the sand to build a club house for himself and his siblings

gatherer  – Mae wades into the water to searching for  “Mermaid hair”, aka seaweed

winner – Ode finds a toy rake on the beach, winning lotto for a two year old

   

   

Joining in with Jodi

Sunday, March 2, 2014

9/52

ace - in the swingode - a natural swimmermae - can't get enough of school and learning - doing her reading eggsebe - loves to read

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

 

ace – in the swing

ode – a natural swimmer, this week he had an opportunity to swim in the pool with his Mama and Dada sans siblings

mae – can’t get enough learning, she lies on the couch practicing writing her letters via reading eggs

ebe – reads and reads and reads, on Friday night he read four books to himself before turning out the lights

    

Joining in with Jodi

Saturday, March 1, 2014

dino busting

I know! I know! To be over dinosaur prints when I still have two sons yet to reach the age of three is a bit premature. Still these prints have been in the stash since the first boy was three, so that makes four years now and between you and me I just wanted to use them up.

virtù - baby Ace has found his feet

Baby Ace has been the big winner. I’ve made him some shorts and pants. I’m pretty sure there are some hand-me-down dino pants in the same fabric ready for O. I’ve just got to remember where I stored them in the shed. E is a bit old for novelty prints of this nature now. *sob*

virtù - dino pants

If it was a leap year baby Ace would be five months today. Of course I guess he is still technically five months old, but there isn’t an actual anniversary… does that make sense or am I giving away how sleep deprived I am (oh and don’t feel sorry for me … own doing on this occasion – a bit hooked on Breaking Bad  just now. That wee hours of the morning “just one more episode” syndrome).

virtù - feet up

At five months baby Ace is rolling around and around trying to get to where he wants to be. Gone are the days when he could be put down and found in the same place some time later. He has found his toes and feet and gurgles and chatters away.

virtù - nearly too big for the bassinet on his pramvirtù - Ace kicks back in his dino shorts

I know that I thought time flew past with baby #3, but the speed that it is racing past at this time round with baby #4 is just ridiculous. I suppose in some ways it is an indicator of how much fun where all having. Time tends to trod slowly when life is tough, so in that sense it is a blessing. I’m struggling though to keep it all in, to absorb every moment and lap it up.

Focusing on being in the moment is a priority for me. It’s a tricky balance being in the here and now whilst also organising four children’s schedules. A metaphorical tight rope if you will.

 virtù - a dino pillow for E

E. scored a dino pillowcase using the same material I made his kindy backpack and school library bag with.  The purple material is a poly-cotton that was accidentally purchased – I don’t know why or when but I was determined to use it up.  I am thinking that making pillowcases might very well end up being a go-to stash busting project. Quick, useful, and packs a nice punch to the stash supplies. Win!!!

virtù - dino pillow for EBonus, E. loves it. I had been a bit fearful that he’d be over this particular dino print just like I am. Apparently not. Apparent the purple is perfect too… but I suppose that isn’t as surprising since he’s a bit of a Freo man.

Do you have material in your stash that you’re a bit over or bored with? Got a great stash-busting project?