Sunday, March 2, 2014

Dear Penpals ( Bloggy Friends)

My mum has always found it hard to understand this blogging world, infact as some of you might know it's put her in a panic a few times when I've gone off to meet new bloggy friends. hehe

But recently I had the epiphany that really my bloggy friends are no different to the penpals back in the day.....the friendships just blossom online rather than on paper!

In fact I remember my mum setting me up with a Penpal! 
Shamefully it didn't last long due to my lack of writing.
But luckily having an online forum like blogging has enabled me to connect with many like minded people,
a lovely generous bunch of people.

And this past week and half has shown me yet again how awesome this community is!

Susan thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your story with me.  It has helped so much to know someone who has been in my position.

It was so exciting to receive your package last week and since then I have enjoyed a number of teas and hot drinks in this lovely cup.

I love the saying! A new mantra ;)

It's funny as I never was much of a hot beverage drinker, but somehow taking the time to brew myself a cuppa and sit down for a moment is like a gift to myself.

And oh my gosh that brownie mix was made up straight away and finished in two days!! ( surprised it lasted that long ) so decadent! and again I felt like I was nurturing myself with every mouthful.

The lovely fabrics, round tote, quilt labels and gorgeous liberty silk scarf are such a treat!

This sweet little bird has gone walkabout a number of times with a certain little girl!

Oh and one of the hand creams smells just like my favourite perfume! Me and my girl have enjoyed these together as a special should see her eyes light up!

And lastly this awesome doggy tote has already come in handy when we went on a homeschooling outing last week, holding all our pens and paper.
 ( Is it bad of me to say it's sooo tempting to turn it into a cute cushion? )

oh and I have just noticed that is a sausage dog with a doily on it's back! very familiar! hehe

I can assure you your care package Susan gave me a huge smile and has done all week! Thankyou so much x

And then there was Leonie who visited me last weekend with her family! It was such a fun day, I loved watching our kids play together and having you there Leonie was such a lovely distraction ;)
And then to receive a fun package for the kids too!! a couple of days later, was a lovely surprise and as you know gave me quite a chuckle! hehehe

And lastly this Saturday afternoon just gone, I had the pleasure of meeting another good friend Leonie for a drink nearby.  It was so lovely to share, talk and decompress.  It helped make my evening at home that much more bearable....thankyou again :)

So again thank you ladies for reaching out and treating me with your kindness and generosity and also to all of you that leave lovely comments and send me messages to see how I am...thankyou xx

This is the reason why I love this bloggy community so much! 
You're all awesome!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Handmade Christmas and Birthday - Snakes, Rabbits and Bones!

Meet Mr Rabbit!
He's a bit of an explorer...

 Like any good explorer he's always well prepared with a good supply of snacks on hand, just in case, in his trusty satchel!

On a perfect sunny day it's fun to go investigating in the long grass.

Although everyone knows that bunnies should never let their guard down!!

WATCHOUT Mr Rabbit!!!

 Oh Dear!

 Is this the end of poor Mr Rabbit?

Phew!!  it's not!
Thank Goodness!!
It looks like it's just silly Rex the snake and Mr Rabbit fooling around again! 

Because after all Rex the snake wouldn't even harm a fly! 
He'd much rather chew on one of his bone softies!

Or take his friend Mr Rabbit on fun rides around the garden!

And together these great mates give the boys and girl in this household a lot of amusement!

Mr Rex is so long and cosy to curl up into, he also stops his owner from falling out of bed at night!

And you can even hide secret treasures down his throat, or shove your hand down and scream that your hand is being eaten!!
This was a big part of the snake softie request! that and he had to be huge!!! 'As long as my bed mum!' 

And after figuring out how to go about sewing Rex, a rabbit was requested too that had to have his own carrots....ya know, to complete the food chain!

So that was his Christmas present, and then his birthday came around this week and a food bowl and bones for Rex was requested

So leaving things to the last minute in my most typical fashion, it was finished midnight the night before! And Rex's fangs were finally added aswell, because afterall he needs those to naw on his new bones!

Details:  Mr Rex was made from $30 dollars worth of polar fleece and stuffing, additional stuffing from old pillows ( because this snake was hungry ) felt scraps, an old cotton cloth nappy for his fangs and a foam core from an old pillow for his hollow throat area!  
(that was my eureka moment!)

Mr Rabbit was made from more old pillow stuffing ( this time my mums ) some op shopped fabric and op shopped felt ( always stockpiling! ) and felt scraps for his satchel and carrots.....
I'll be sharing this pattern for Easter!

As for Rex's food bowl and bones?  the bones again used old pillow stuffing and more of that old cotton nappy.
The bowl was from more op-shopped fabric and for his name I used some lovely scraps from last years Scrap Bag Swap.

All in all this has to be hands down the most successful handmade pressie I've made, he absolutely adores his snake, even as I write this he is cuddled up on the couch with Rex wrapped around him.
It's so successful that more softies have been requested from the other two and he's making lists for his birthdays and Christmases to come.  Some of them absurd!
Next is a shark!!! Yikes!

Joining in with Leonie ( who I was lucky to have over at my house this last weekend!! ) from Sunshine x 3

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mr & Mrs Wedding Pillows

About a month ago I was honored to attend a wedding of new friend.
Our friendship started after many chats over the counter in her Organics shop.
From there it has continued to the point that when her and her fiance announced their engagement I was flabbergasted for us all to be invited!

As a wedding present the first thing I thought of was a set of Mr & Mrs Pillows

I have seen so many of these around the blogosphere, and I especially liked the use of vintage sheets for the writing.

Keeping it simple with a white sheet for the background, I got a chance to showcase some of my vintage sheets.

I didn't get the chance to give them to her in person on the day, but weeks later at the local A & P show I bumped into her and her husband, and I was thrilled to hear how delighted she was to receive them!  
Now I'm thinking I wouldn't mind a pair myself!



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Keep Breathing - Book Cover

After new years an idea kept circling around my head.
My good friend next door has just taken the leap with me to homeschool her children, plus another huge step in becoming our local area yoga teacher! Lucky me ;)

With this in mind I thought a diary would make the perfect present to wish her luck in her new ventures, that and she's been a great friend these past two years and deserved it.

The Diary really needed a personal touch so I made this cover so that she could reuse it in the years to come

The message Keep Breathing has double meaning to us.

One as it is key to remember your breath in Yoga and the other as in 'Keep Breathing you'll be alright'.

To make the lotus flower I used lots of scraps from my stash and from the 2013 scrap bag swap....which by the way, did you know there is a  blog hop going on at the moment with this years Scrap Bag Swap?
You can find more about it on Nin's blog who organises this each year.

Next is to make one for me.....I think I might use Keep Breathing too! and maybe Keep Calm, Keep Sane! Which by the way thankyou to everyone that left such lovely messages for me, its good to read these in my low helps to know you care and reached out xx
I might even take some pics of the process and let you know how you can make one of these yourself!

Joining in with one such lovely lady Leonie at Sunshine x 3

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Our tomato withdrawl is well and truly cured!

The tomatoes are in full swing and after a few days of forgetting them, the tomatoes are overfloweth! 

Its funny how the anticipation of the tomato season for us is so great as we plant our first seeds, nurture them as seedlings, and then plant them lovingly like little babies in their specially prepared bed.
And then boom! harvest comes and the excitement of tasting the first ripe tomato is soon followed by the feeling of 'oh crap'! 
So many tomatoes!!!

So trying my hardest to keep up with the influx, all of Mikes family favourites have been put into full production with the occasional helping hand from the kids.

It started with Tomato relish last week, and now it's Tomato sauce and Slow Roasted Tomatoes with garlic and thyme on the go

Mum's already put her hand up to help if it gets all a bit too much....especially as there are a number of large marrows outside, which each could have easily won their section in the local A&P show! I'm thinking mum's recent delicious marrow pickle recipe will be the thing for those :))

And yes they're not tomatoes but I how could I not resist?! Plus like on clockwork while I was chopping all those tomatoes, ( that makes it totally relevant ) our mischievious ducks came to let me know it was dinner time....quack quack quack quack 

( oh and there they go's as if they have a sixth sense! )

Just in case you may be dealing with your own influx, I'll leave you with the yummiest way to enjoy a bit of summer in winter.

 Slow Roasted Tomato and Garlic Sauce

Preheat your oven to a low heat....I use 100 degrees
Then simply halve your cherry tomatoes and lay them out in a single layer on a large oven baking tray.
Peel and crush/chop up a whole bulb of garlic, add some thyme or oregano, and plenty of salt and pepper, a few glugs of olive oil and mix, spread back out before placing in the oven for 3-4 hours checking every now and to stir and rearrange to assist in the process.

The second photo shows them about half way through the process, they should be far more shrivelled up than shown.

I then place portions in containers and keep them in the freezer, taking them out to add to pasta's or sauces that need a bit of a boost.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Waiting for Changes

It came to me while we were travelling down a country road, that there isn't much time for me to really think at the moment, to gather my thoughts

To be honest we're currently coping from hour to hour. 

Just when you're feeling things are going well, Boom! 
Something else arises to test your patience and sanity.  

It's emotionally and physically taking it's toll,
and last night it invaded my sleep...our only sanctuary we had left.

I'm carrying incredible guilt with me everyday, guilt for not keeping my patience, guilt for shouting, guilt for the children who are caught in the middle, who ask me in their innocent voices "why are you mad at me mum?" or "it's okay mum, do you need a hug?"
I'm sorry kids....really I am, I'm trying...we both are

I search for answers, glimmers of hope to grasp hold of or a phone call that might promise a way out of this groundhog day.

 None of us could have fore seen this.
We've tried all that we can.  But now it's time to accept the help that's been a long time coming, and about time, because we are breaking.  
 I had a interesting life growing up, to put it mildly...a lot of heartache and worrying for my mum and my brother....but I now know as a mother, it's something else watching your child go through emotional pain and anguish every few minutes and at such a young age.
The guilt and worry I held for them, I learned to let go of years ago, and it was life changing, a relief!  Afterall it was their life and by that time I had my own family to look after and worry about.

  But tell me, how do you let go of it when its your own child? 
We're trying to be proactive, we really are, even though somedays I could just crawl back into bed.

And both Mike and I have changed so many things in our lives, there's homeschooling, yoga, meditation to name a few.
And today making a point of getting out and about down to a local beach.


We're trying to keep active and busy as a family, giving our children some joy amongst the angst that we are all feeling.
 Trying our best to enjoy the small moments....enjoying the calm before the storm.

Hoping every child will join in on the fun, let themselves be free from the burden they are carrying and if we're lucky, we see a beautiful smile that seldom makes an appearance these days.

 We're trying our best to treasure these moments, because, and I remind myself, this will not always be this way, change is coming, change that is good for everyone, and big smiles and laughs will one day outweigh the tears and sadness....One day.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Remembering the small things - Blackberry Hunting

 This afternoon what started out as a common whinge in our house "I'm booorrred!" resulted in blackberry hunting.
Our neighbour had mentioned a couple of weeks ago we were welcome to pick his brambles at the bottom of his land.

There was a bit of convincing and assurance needed, as one such child was a bit unsure of the large ram

 Here he is sussing out the situation

And the ram? he couldn't have cared less ( he's actually ours...on loan )

Nevertheless walking the boundary line and making their way into the long grass, I chuckled as I watched on.

Little J sampling a whole lot more than picking, and Mr B straight to business....he's a doer!

And the end result 

Slim pickings for our planned pie.  
I had it on good authority that most of them passed a certain boys lips rather than the bucket! hehe
So off they went down our land this time, to our small patch, but this time because Mr B tripped, all their efforts fell into a large fresh cowpat!! 

Luckily I always keep frozen berries in the freezer.  
So that combined with our whole entire apple harvest this year  
( a whole 3 apples! ) we had enough to make a crumble

This is the childhood I've dreamt for our kids for such a long time, and it's small moments like this that I want to hold onto and remember for years to come, hopefully they will too!

Ending our meal tonight with my crochet on my lap and a delicious hot crumble was a nice distraction :)

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