Eight and a half months now, Cedar is sitting happily and also dragging himself around a lot, occasionally pushing himself up to crawling position for a minute or two and then back down, and he loves eating! He is ticklish, finds Sienna and Ash vastly entertaining and enjoys looking at his books... Oh, and he is very cute!


The latest addition to my rotating exhibitions... this one is $80 at the Green Bean Cafe, Belgrave.

There is something

Something about weddings, I find them irresistible! Mostly because I love organising and events and creativity, and what better opportunity than a wedding. Not my opportunity, of course, been there and done that (11 years ago next weekend, can you believe it), but it still fascinates me! Whenever I've been asked to photograph a wedding I've felt honoured to be part of the day, part of the choice made by the bride (and groom, but you know - bride, LOL) to help their special day reflect their own personalities and capture the magical day they've created. I don't even know if that makes sense, hehe, but with a few weddings around at the moment I have let my eye be caught by a few items here and there....

and that last one for nostalgia - doesn't Ben look young! Hehe. I still love that dress. It's in the wardrobe still wrapped in the dry cleaning bag, but only because it doesn't take up much room. And I haven't fit in it for, mm, 8 years. No, 9. Maybe 10. LOL. Happy times :)

Another month

Another assignment... I do have fun with the colour team layouts (green, lemon and white - above!) but my fave this month is the 'handmade embellishments'. Scrapbook Creations top ten this month includes my layout 'A Matter of Heart', where I made a wire heart for my page and kept it light, vintage-y and arty. Scrapping a sweet little moment doesn't hurt either :)

Ooh I really need to scrap Ash some more I think! Hmm, and Cedar too.

A book!

Scrapbook Inspiration, a UK based magazine which closed down last year, is now producing quarterly books, and I have three layouts published in this first IDEAS BOOK. Click here to order a copy, prices include shipping - 12.99 pounds (approx A$22) to rest of the world :)


After being mentioned in Eleesa's fave fives I can't resist, I must join in! Also it's fun :) Five shops I want to visit...

1. - this shop is fantastic, just the sort of shop I was dreaming of opening but changed my mind ;) I really must visit the real life store! Love this brooch (pictures) from there...

2. Cottage Industry - a small store on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy, specialising in recycling and upcycling of vintage fabrics and odds-and-sods,  and the creating of new products using traditional craft techniques

3. Empire Vintage - this one has been on my list for years, and it's not even that far away, I just forget (and am a bit worried about wanting to buy too many things!)

4. Lark - Well, no surprise here, I link to Lark a lot :) I've been concocting trips to Daylesford in my head to visit the real life store, but now I read they are expanding, I think I'll wait until late April to see the new and larger Lark in all its glory!

5. Meet Me At Mikes - Another one nearby, actually all except Lark are near enough, and Meet Me At Mikes I've even had on my 'itinerary' but ran out of time (school pickup to get back for!). Must go!

Looking back

Looking back, it's fun sometimes... we haven't been camping in years. This wasn't the last time, this was from June 2003, I was pregnant with Sienna when Ben and I met up with mum and dad for a camping trip at Halls Gap. Camping makes me think of my dad. I love my dad, he's awesome. Also I am a lot like him, HA. Except a heck of a lot more emotional.

I like this photo because it reminds me of his love of the outdoors, his approach to life of just DOING things, and the reason he is pursuing his love of wildlife photography as a hobby. Even though I am jealous of his lenses ;)

Most wildlife is a bit more challenging to photograph than these rosellas were!

King of the World

Loved making this 'just for fun' layout with Kate Mason's gorgeous patterned paper designs. They fit my style somewhere alongside Daisy D's Wonder Years (my fave range ever, there is a house on here from one of those papers) and Prima Flirty Little Secret... really arty and warm and lovely! I think I spot some Cavallini - love it! I might need some of their rubber stamps...

Sienna used to say this all the time, that Cedar is King of the World and she is the Queen!

Foxie in the Forest

Anyone who has been around Sienna lately knows she is obsessed with foxes. I'm not sure where it comes from, exactly, though I do remember she had a thing for them last year it has just increased in intensity over the last couple of months. We now have the movie The Fox and the Child on dvd and she just loves the little things. Anyhow, I made her a library bag for this year for school with some of the lovely thick felt the gorgeous Viv sent me, and it just had to have the fox theme, of course!

I pretty much made it up as I went along and am quite happy with how it turned out. Pretty ordinary photo, I know, the bag was full of scrap supplies when I took it, I was showing it to the girls at a craft group I'm in, as I had started making it while there a few weeks back. Today she has taken it to library and will bring it home with books to read :)

Forgot Fifteen

A few weeks ago Bec and Joel (my cousin and her hubby) and I went out to dinner at Fifteen Melbourne after I did a photo shoot of them around the city centre... which I will show when I've gotten through a few more edits ;) Anyway, I took some photos of our yummy food and also snuck a few shots in of the kitchen and other details...

Even the picture of this ravioli has my mouth watering again, it was SO divine!

In the Sun

So the other week I pre-ordered the new She & Him album, as I completely adore the first and it is one of my favourite sing-a-long cds. Was thrilled to pop on to MeetMeAtMikes blog today and see a video clip of the first single In the Sun - SO gorgeous. It *should* arrive at the end of the week. Yay!

And that reminded me that the new Angus & Julia Stone album came out on Friday. I was undecided about getting it or not, but have been listening to one of their other cds a lot this week quite happily. So I popped on to their myspace and as soon as I heard 'Big Jet Plane' I was sold. And then the strings come in. Awesome. I can SO imagine Sylvia and Jeff singing this chorus to Spencer about their big trip to visit Simona & Philip in April! Actually haven't got it yet, as that was an hour ago, but I will. Probably the special edition, but I like this cover picture better :)

What are your newest music loves? Or perhaps new songs by old loves?

We are...

so blessed that each of our children came to us crying and breathing and surviving. Right now my heart is aching for Ben's stepsister, her husband and two girls. Their baby boy Sebastian was due this month but died this week. The happiest time has turned to the saddest, and there's nothing to say that can make that better.

As a mother I remember holding my breath before ultrasounds and monitoring, not ignorant of the possibilities, but not really believing it would happen to me. And truly truly grateful and appreciative of the gifts we have, for each of them when they safely arrived. So, when hearing of such a tragic loss, not only for his immediate family but also for nan & pop who have lost their grandson. Helpless to help, I have this book on the way to them and I hope that it's ok. What else is there to say, except how sad. How deeply and desperately sad. Hold your babies close, for we are so blessed that we have them.

Sunny Autumn

A day so happy.
Fog lifted early. I worked in the garden.
Hummingbirds were stopping over the honeysuckle flowers.
There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.
I knew no one worth my envying him.
Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.
To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me.
In my body I felt no pain.
When straightening up, I saw blue sea and sails.

- Gift, by Czeslaw Milosz

Just keep swimming

Dory is awesome. I love her little sing-a-long "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming", even though it gets super annoying if you have the Nemo dvd on the menu screen and forget to turn it off. You'll be in the kitchen with messy hands, unable to safely hold the remote, or whatever, and it will go from cute humming along to drive-you-crazy pretty quickly. But I digress.
Awesome underwater fish photo taken by my dad!
I'm not a really chirpy outgoing sort of person, naturally, but I am of the same school of thought (ha! school, fish, get it? puns are funny. lame, but make you smile, right?) as Dory. Just keep swimming. I don't look back a whole lot. The other week when I shared the story of Sienna's grasshopper drama, it was because I'd heard of someone else with an ASD having trouble with their running and just wanted to put one of our days out there to relate. I don't generally feel the need to dwell on the difficulties. I've had a couple more hiding episodes with Sienna since then and a drama or two with Ash, but it's pretty whatever for me. I try and deal with it as best I can and when it's over, move on. I think it is something to do with the way I was raised, to be quite practical and also very independent. But today that is beside the point.

Some days I feel like my resilience works against me. This week I'm not good enough because, though the washing (including plenty of clean washing that had to be re-washed due to broken glass) is clean, it is not all dry and folded and put away. Though I vacuumed on the weekend, it is not enough to keep the floors tidy all week long, and putting toys away doesn't even last the day. Though I have cooked dinner every night and made school and kinder lunches, snacks and fruit, after school snacks and breakfasts all week, including two types of homemade baby food last night, it is not enough because the kitchen is not sparkling clean.Though the kids are bathed, pyjama-d and teeth are brushed, it is not enough because their rooms are messy.

Though I hung four paintings in local cafes and posted a scrapbook page for a magazine deadline, it is not enough because I haven't packed away my art supplies from the lounge room. Though I spend 5 hours or so walking to and from school and kinder each week, pushing a pram up and down the hills, usually with one 18kg child or the other sitting on the front, it is not enough because I still don't get any slimmer. Though I deal with meltdowns, runaways, tears, dramas, tantrums, defiance and insomnia from my two older children, sometimes because of ASD / receptive language disorders and sometimes because of brattiness, it is not enough because I have still not got around to creating the visual schedules and other tools that would benefit them at home. Though I made scones from scratch after school when Sienna's friend was over to play, it is not enough because I didn't make them gluten-free or stock soy milk for her mum (who is lovely), not realising that she had those restrictions. Of course SHE didn't mind. I DO.

That, of course, is the real problem. These are things I mind. These are MY self-imposed pressures. I know that I choose priorities, and try and keep a balance, and sometimes art and photography win out a little more, sometimes I have deadlines, and sometimes I am determined to catch up on the washing. Sometimes I ignore the bathroom that needs cleaning to work on the budget or pay bills. Sometimes I ignore my deadlines to spend an afternoon making a 'fox in the forest' library bag for my fox-obsessed daughter. Housework certainly doesn't get done then. In fact, now I need to pack away my sewing equipment. And I know I make these decisions, and I do them - usually - fairly consciously. But I have a constantly-evolving to-do list in my mind that has all of these other 'not-enoughs' as the soundtrack to my days. And some days I get sick of it. And some days I blog one of my train of thought rants, instead of picking up toys from the lounge room floor, and find that so many other women, artists, creators and mothers feel so much the same.
None of us need to. And we know that, logically. But emotionally we all want to be superwomen.

The baby in the grass

I took these last week in the garden in the space of about five-ten minutes before it started RAINING. Then I thought it would reflect badly on my mother-status to stay outside taking pictures in the wet weather... funny that ;)

Two new, and two re-do

"I heard something
about apples
falling from trees...

but you are 
than being
of me."

in the
(I hold you

I hung two new paintings at the Have Ya Bean and Green Bean Cafes respectively, as well as two new editions of the 'Wait' and 'Grow' pieces.

Quick Quick! Win a little Hootie, I mean cutie!

I almost forgot, my friend Teresa, of Whimsy and Light fame as mentioned previously, is having a giveaway on her blog - but only until tomorrow! Quick, hurry over and comment to win this little cutie :)

The hail storm of yesterday afternoon

At the time we were thinking it was a good time to be inside, but once we got home I was glad we were out during the storm. We have four broken windows - two of them broken in two separate panes of glass -  and one cracked. The roof is a bit more dented than before, but as long as it doesn't start leaking I don't really care about that!

The kids and I were in the car at Notting Hill waiting for Ben to come out from a computer shop. The hail started first, massive hail stones, and then the rain. One huge one was, thankfully, soft and broke like a snowball on our windscreen. I moved the car to a carpark as close to the building as possible, in between a 4WD and a big dumpster, pulled a towel across one side of Cedar's seat and then Ash and I sat together in the driver's seat, as the passenger side was being bombarded.

Later, as we drove home, there were flooded roads everywhere, twigs and foliage all over the road. One intersection had the black hoods of the traffic lights smashed in pieces all over the ground and the lights weren't working at a few places. Our gravel road was all over the place with a waterfall running down the ditch on the left side. Crazy crazy crazy. Melbourne city had all sorts of chaos, airport closed and evacuations at all sorts of places - Chadstone, the Aquarium, galleries, etc, and some roof cave-ins at Spencer Street station and the Jam Factory at Chapel St. At home we spent a couple of hours cleaning up, our windows are now taped up with bubble wrap! The best thing I had handy, LOL.

Still, we're lucky. No flooding, we're on a hill so it goes down from here anyway, and our roof is in-tact. No leaks evident yet. Just the broken windows. I've put an insurance claim in, so we'll see how that goes. And the audio drive on our PC is practically dead, so I'll be trying to rescue music files in the midst of photo edits, etc. We've got another couple of days of heavy rain expected so it might be a lie-low kind of long weekend around here :)