Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Oscar's sunflowers

At the beginning of Spring, I found myself in the supermarket, with tantrums looming - if I didn't let Oscar and Nora buy some seeds. So I let them choose a packet (or two) each. They planted the seeds in the unused narrow side garden bed, in front of the rather drab colourbond fence. Throughout Spring, Osc would run outside and count the leaves, as his sunflowers grew ever stronger. Nora would pretend her cosmos and zinnias were weeds, so sadly, they haven't amounted to much. But the sunflowers, they are so joyous! Oscar, you chose well.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Creating opportunities*



Iris is 14 months old now and even though she is still so very dependent on me - I find myself thinking about the future. The newborn-free future. I have been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for the past 5 years. My body has changed, my lifestyle has shifted, my relationship with Rodge has morphed and most of all, I feel like my mind has gone just a little bit mushy. Anyone who says that you can go on as you were after having kids, well it certainly didn't work like that for me.

Some people fall pregnant and have babies and become super organised. Me, I've just relaxed into a constant foggy state and let everything crumble around us.

After Oscar was born, the small print and publishing company I worked for went bankrupt. I never returned to fulltime work. When he was about 7 months old I did a little bit of freelancing, but after I fell pregnant with Nora, I found I couldn't cope with pregnancy, a very active toddler and work - and was happy when my freelance work dried up.

Now after 4ish years of intense baby and toddler time, I feel like I need to do something for me. Photographing the wedding and the joy that gave me, confirmed that. This is were I find myself a little stuck. So I'm looking for and trying to create all the opportunities possible. Only Oscar goes to preschool, so it isn't like I have swathes of free time, but I do have snippets of time - and I'm looking for things I can do, with my babes around.

As a consequence I approached Betty (a good friend and graphic designer who I've mentioned here), and begged her to let me take photos for one of her clients, the beautiful linen company, Miss Molly. Betty was reluctant, she likes to pay creatives and photographers wasn't in Miss Molly's current budget, but she relented. I borrowed heavy bags full of exquisite sheets and fabrics. And I'm ever so glad I did. Some of my photos are already up on Miss Molly's website, and more photos have been requested, which makes me rather happy. She has offered me gifts of linen in return.

Now where to next?

*This post could have had so many possible titles - 'The past five years', 'Miss Molly', 'Contemplating the future' ...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A crib quilt for Emily




Made for an old and very dear friend's daughter. When I found the vintage South African airways fabric in my mum's extensive fabric stash, I knew it'd be perfect. It's for her to either take to the park for picnic time, or snuggle under when those chilly Canberra winters hit. When she's a bit older, it can be a lap quilt while reading her favourite books or watching a good movie.

I chose the fabrics and pieced ... but ran out of time, with Iris a newborn and Osc and Nora running round, so my mum, very generously finished it. Sorry, the photos are poor and don't show the intricate hand quilting my mum did, outlining elements of the panel in variegated pastel thread.

Beautiful little Emily Joan, I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Spring lovelies





A big selection of recent favourites. Light and flowers.

Enjoying the warmer weather and the longer days.

We're looking forward to the end of the year. To summer. To a break with Papa. To Christmas holidays. Beach days, salty skin, sandy sheets and sun-kissed locks. Watermelons and mangoes.

I've decided to continue on at the documented, in the new year ... and I'll push myself to do a 365 project. It'll be fun, right?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thoughts on photography.

I've been thinking about whether I'll continue over on The Documented. I've obviously taken a break. Although there is much more to learn, I'm feeling confident where I'm at with my manual photography, should I keep going and delve even further? Should I do a course? Should I figure out how to edit my photos? Should The Documented become a 365 project? So many decisions to make!

I'm a little torn. I enjoy love photos. I'm drawn to all things visual. Always. But I'm not a natural talent (is there such a thing? I'm pretty sure most good photographers are born from hard work). I also become very overwhelmed by just how many photographers there are out there. Everyone with a camera (and a blog) is a photographer. This isn't a bad thing, it is just the way it is. Myself included, right? To be a professional photographer - you must have to have so much passion and determination to make it. I'm pretty certain there is absolutely no room for doubt.

I LOVED shooting the wedding. The social aspect, the idea that it was work, but in a beautiful location, capturing such stunning, sacred moments. I even loved the physical aspect of it all, the ache at the end of the day from holding the camera for so long.

I'm not even sure where I'm going with this ramble, I just felt like unloading some thoughts.

Maybe, tell me about your photos. Your thoughts on photography.

ps the photo above is of my adorable niece Ottilie, exploring my parents' garden in the magical afternoon light.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Unfinished.

That's just the contents of my bag of embroidery. Not including paintings or to do lists. I think it's time I started completing some things.

clockwise from top left (in case you're wondering) - a gocco print snail on calico, partially embroidered; a prints charming paisley panel, partially embroidered; my embroidery threads; a tin of felt and fabric scraps; some paper pieced diamonds; umbrella prints scraps; a partially embroidered gocco print mermaid, for my niece Ottilie; two kantha stitched envelopes, one complete, one in progress, inspired by an Alex Falkiner workshop; and one incomplete panel from Alex Falkiner's drawing with thread workshop. Whew!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cousins


Yesterday. Ottilie and Iris. Cousins, born one month apart. Already they make each other laugh and squeal. Giggle and exchange kisses. Play games. Share toys. Fight a little!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Beth + Eric

I haven't been round here much. Real life just seems to be taking over (which is a good thing, right?)

My sister Celeste is a seriously talented photographer. Almost a month ago, she professionally shot her first wedding. And she was generous enough to ask me to be her second shooter. Although I had my reservations (I'm not a trained photographer), I was happy to help and grateful for the opportunity.

Shooting a wedding is intense - but in a wonderful way. There is so much emotion to capture, so many moments, a rollercoaster, whirlwind day. I would love to do it again sometime. Fingers crossed.

To see more from the wedding, have a look on Celeste's blog.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Staying creative

On the weekend, I escaped, headed south and spent a marvellous morning painting. With three like-minded mums, I meditated, discussed creativity and motherhood and found some inspiration.

At top - my set-up. Underneath - Zoe and her guitar underneath the banksias overlooking the sea // Betty sketching garden scenes.


























Saturday, October 4, 2014

Magic

Nora bathed in golden light. She's at her happiest exploring my parents' garden.

More from the same day over on the documented.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

They are children.

I know I'm not the only one who has read (and re-read) Emma Watson's UN speech. It is simple, concise and a little bit genius. And it holds so much truth.

I believe that to fight gender inequality, we need to start with our children and how we are raising them. Yes, we all want considerate and happy children. And that is the key word - they are children before they are boys and girls. Which is why I often find myself so frustrated by the divisions made (think toy aisles in department stores). The excuses given (think 'boys will be boys'). The gender ideals we place on them from such a young age. They are children. We need to let them be children, first and foremost.

An organisation I fully support, in its work to fight the gendered marketing of toys to children is Play Unlimited. If you are interested, go take a look at their website or like their fb page.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Coriander and cashew nut pesto




Rodge, in his impatience, decided to cull my coriander plants from the backyard, to make way for his oxheart tomatoes (which he has been talking about ALL winter, and to be honest I think I'm looking forward to just as much as him). I did have plans to let them go to seed first, but oh well.

So Nora, Oscar and I made pesto, of course. It was either pesto or chimichurri, but pesto is a little less labour intensive.

My method:

Get all your ingredients lined up - cashew nuts, grated parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, olive oil and coriander. Then add a little of each. Blend (we only have a stick blender). Keep adding and blending alternately. Make sure to taste and adjust flavours as you go. Easy.

Enjoy on toast with poached egg for breakfast, scooped onto an avocado for lunch, then mixed through your pasta for dinner.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Today: THE MESS




The mess. The mess. Just breathe. Focus on the fact I've cleared the table and Nora's pretty posy looks gorgeous on it.

Tell me, how on earth do you keep up with the destruction and chaos your children create? I think I need all the help I can get.

(Maybe if I wasn't photographing and blogging it ... ) 

ps it looks a little better now. A little.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Staying creative ...

for me is pretty much impossible with three young children. Well, it feels that way. Maybe I shouldn't worry so much about 'frivolous' pursuits of creativity, but I do.

I mentioned here that I'd love this blog to be more about creativity, about inspiration. I have lists of ideas and projects and wonderful things that fill my heart with joy, but for the most part, they are remaining as lists.

And then in comes my saviour - Bettina!

Betty and I met back when our bubs were just that, bubs. We were thrust into the same mothers group, a group of 10 wonderful supportive mums, which 4+ years on are still all in contact.

Betty happens to be a graphic designer running her own boutique studio and an accomplished artist. She was lucky enough to do a residency as an artist in Antarctica, which naturally, leaves me in complete awe.

She is a CHAMPION of anyone you wishes to be creative in any way.

Betty convenes the 10 in 10 quick and dirty drawings on facebook - as a way of keeping creative in small doses. Plus she organises a monthly(ish) get together of mums - so they can escape and nurture their creative sides. The group consists of artists, musicians, writers and people who just dabble, like me.

She thought of both things as a way to help herself keep up her art practice ... but she looks at everything holistically. She is helping herself - yet reaching out to others for both encouragement and to help them also. It is a wonderful cyclical support that works.

So last weekend, I left poor Rodge with the double pram and three slightly sick children and escaped for four hours. We meditate, get into the zone and then go! It was bliss.




Top photo: my set up for the morning. Bottom three: Betty and her work.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

For Dad.

I'm eyeing off the broccoli, and thinking I'll present two florets (is that the right terminology?) to my dad for father's day. I know that sounds cheap, but I think he'll appreciate the homegrown sentiment, plus he loves to eat and he loves being healthy.

What are you up to for Dad's day?

ps I know I keep spruiking the broccoli, but seriously, they feel like the most exciting happening here right now.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Violets

Aren't they perfect? They smelt divine.

I already put a photo up of these violets on The Documented, but I really felt like sharing this shot here.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

This is my suburb: a primary school fete




Blue skies. Face painting. Fruit kebabs with marshmellows. Music. Glitter. Rainbows and flowers. Such a lovely way to say goodbye to Winter and hello to Spring.

This is my suburb series

Monday, August 25, 2014

one


Ten days after Oscar turned 4, Iris, our youngest, turned 1. We held a small family filled party - where, like her brother, she was showered with gifts*. We ate pulled pork followed by passionfruit covered buttercake and listened to 'let it go' one too many times on youtube.

To me, it feels as though Iris is growing up faster than her siblings and is far more independent. She walks and she talks and she climbs anything and everything. She is already fussy about her food and protective of certain toys. She adores her siblings, who in turn dote on her. She fights naps with all her might. She loves swimming, laughing, bathtime, balls, climbing stairs, standing on tabletops (little daredevil), greek yoghurt, blueberries, breastfeeding and hide and seek. Although not necessarily in that order. She is just perfect.

Happy birthday little Iris.

* (although, not from Rodge and me, we'll be more organised next year, Iris, we promise)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

In our backyard




We have the first successful broccolis emerging and a lovely crop of coriander but little else. I have two laundry tubs waiting to be filled with herbs, a narrow empty garden bed (which I have no idea what to do with) and some irises in plastic pots.

I'm in need of some inspiration.

What are your favourite herbs to grow? What wonderful edible plant should I put in next?