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Saturday, May 28, 2011

{this moment}

Happy Birthday my sweet wee Bear.

 A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemamma
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
 A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nourish Me:: Week Nine - Keep Calm...

One must take ones Yuk's where one finds them.
Ok. So it hasn't strictly been a weekly post. I have been attacked caught up by the usual dramas of family life - 'She's got chicken pox. No, it's not chicken pox, it's just the exact symptoms of chicken pox in the exact order they usually occur in without it actually being chicken pox. Oh. Right. So we needn't have cancelled everything then...', cleaning, cooking, kinder, school tours, baby stuff, tantrums (mine and other people's), blah, blah, blah. It has been so busy and I have been completely exhausted by it all that, instead of posting, I've been sitting in bed watching True Blood again and knitting my little ass off. A friend told me about this little sign (above), based on the English wartime signs, and it made me laugh.  That's a good enough reason to include it here methinks.

SJK Handspun Blue Face Leicester Light-Bulky 

Apple of My Sky (109g-157yds) 

from SeeJayneKnitYarns on Etsy

Ah knitting. How I do love thee. It's been especially pleasurable because for the last two weeks I have had my good friend Docwitch, up here in the these thar hills. Oh what bliss. We have spent many days together touring Ye Olde Goode Op Shoppes (thrift shops), having lunch both in and out of my house, making fires, drinking wine, baking and yes, knit, knit, knitting. I have to say that Doc's knitting is of a different calibre than mine - i.e. it looks like it's supposed to and it fits it's recipients but it was just such a pleasure to sit and talk and knit and watch stupid YouTube clips together. It doesn't happen often unfortunately as we live in two different parts of Melbourne and though they are only 40 minutes to an hour away, it takes an awful lot of logistical planning to get us both in the same place at the same time. So I soaked up the opportunity to spend some quality time, with a wonderful witchypoo friend and her gorgeous daughter. Our little witchlings, though 4 years different in age, played wonderfully together, though I do recall Doc's daughter becoming a somewhat draconian schoolmarm and threatening to give Beanie 'the strap' if she talked out of turn in class! Ah twas fun indeed.
When they returned to their normal life in the 'cidee', I was then joined by the lovely Solyluna who will remain up here until early June. Oh but I shall be completely spoiled by then and shall be bereft when they leave me up here all by my lonesome. Until that fateful day arrives, I shall revel in all the time spent with such delicious company and top up my sorely depleted batteries. I don't think that either woman realises just how precious their friendship is to me nor how much they lift my spirits with just their presence and conversation. I am very blessed.
So knitting. I am, I fear, almost as big a yarn slut as I am a book slut - and that should tell you a lot about me. I have yarn envy, I covertly 'touch' other people's yarn, I fawn over their projects, I stroke the pretty skeins as they flaunt their colours and textures and invite me to buy. I start one project only to get unusually excited about something else and thus starts the slippery slide into the 'multiple projects on the needles' which justifies me buying a bit more of this lovely yarn, and oh, look at that one, it's so purdy.' abyss... I LOVE it though, knitting aside, I seriously think that I am developing some even more old ladyish qualities. I've started to make chicken stock regularly for goodness sake. And baking? Darning? Don't ask. Next thing you know I'll be drinking sherry and smelling of piss 'n' biscuits.
Lovely, lovely Noro
I am just about to complete a beautiful 'Rainbow Dress' for Beanie. It has knit up really well in gorgeous Noro silk wool and it has been my first big project on circular needles and I am hooked. Literally. Knitting in the round is so easy and it's so satisfying. No seams to sew up at the end (and I can't tell you how many projects I have lying around waiting for me to sew them up!) and no boring knit one round, purl the next - you just knit each round and miraculously, stocking stitch appears on the other side. It's magical. I am also knitting up something for my wee Bear and I hope to have that finished next week. It's so exciting. I spend most evenings just watching movies and knitting. I haven't yet mastered reading and knitting but one day...one day.

The glorious and amusing art of 'wool' or 'yarn' bombing whereby something ordinary gets a knitted makeover. 
Truly though, knitting and crafting, which it seems like I've been doing constantly in the last four months, is keeping me sane. When things get tough, and they have been, it is a balm to my shredded soul. There is something so meditative about knitting, something so soothing and calming. It brings me into the moment and gives me something to focus on beyond my cares and woes and day-to-day struggles. And the truly great thing about knitting is that its so easy to see progress and that is exceptionally satisfying. 

I've also been crafting up a storm for a number of swaps I'm engaged in. I will post more on those later, with piccies, but for now know that, in my blogging absence, I have been beavering away in earnest and enjoying myself (in this at least) more than is strictly proper for a woman in the autumn of my life.

I'd best be off. My knitting is singing to me like a siren. I'm so close to finishing the dress... But. Before I leave, I will once more share my latest sweet nourishy bites with you.

:: watching :: True Blood Series One & Two again. Oh that naughty, naughty Eric but then in series three there is that hunk of werewolf Alcide. Oh my. Be still my beating heart. Did I hear someone say 'doggy style'? Really. You ought to be ashamed. He's a person, not a hunk of extremely desirable man meat. Tsk. Tsk.

I like it Ruff!
:: loving :: I'll give you a clue...it involves yarn.

:: longing for:: some time alone. To sleep, to think, to write, to make stuff, to dream.
:: looking forward to :: comfort food, mulled wine and more knitting in front of the beautiful fire in our little coonara. The Winter Solstice - particularly the lantern parade that happens in our community every year. New crafting projects.

:: heading towards :: some scary soul searching and shadow dusting.

:: enjoying :: the heady array of flaming autumnal colours that surround me. I find myself holding my breath as I pass yet another tree on fire with colour - pinks and red and oranges and yellows abound but there is also scarlet and peach and honey and green and chestnut and russet and crunchy dark browns. Oh how they delight me daily. A work of fiction on audio cd in my car - The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton - it's terribly intriguing and lovely to read some fiction for a change.

::making:: wool roving swans, wool roving summer fairies, felt toadstools and yesa rainbow dress for Beanie with my beautiful, colourful (almost all gone!) Noro wool. Ravelry pattern here. I'm still making lots of lovely soups - I made one today that was oven roasted vegetables and kale - mm mm mmmmm. I've also been making apple pies from hand picked organic apples from a friends farm. SO yummy. Recipe here. The only thing I did differently from the recipe was I stewed my apples for 10 mins in some dark muscovado sugar to soften them.

:: surprising myself :: by putting myself first for a change. I have made some small changes to our sleeping arrangements here at chez skarbek, changes to give me more sleep and it has had a positive knock on effect with the children. I am learning, slowly, that if mamma isn't happy, ain't nobody happy. It's only taken me 4.5 years to stop being so bloody guilty over every friggin' decision I make and to realise that no matter what my ideals, if it isn't working for our family then it's time to let it go.  

:: feeling :: challenged and, if I'm honest, a little bit afraid.
:: hoping for :: positive change, connection and acceptance.
:: grateful for :: good friends, good wine and the early dark.
And with a swirl of her (knitted red riding hood) cape...she was gone.

*excuse the awful spacing - my page seems to be having a 'moment'

Friday, May 20, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemamma
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
 A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemamma. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


The last of summer's bounty
I have been busy recently as I took part in several craft exchanges:

First off, there was the Four Seasons Exchange organised by Nalina. Nalina focuses on celebrations that are important in the Waldorf/Steiner tradition. Hence the first swap was focused on Easter (Spring). There will be three more - 2. St. John's day (Summer), 3. Michaelmas (Autumn/Fall) and 4. Christmas (Winter).

Easter derives its name from pre-Christian goddess symbols of rebirth, fertility and spring. The renewal of (wo)man's being is celebrated with that of the earth. Ancient symbols of the hare and egg are both known as signs of the return of life after winter's sleep.

St. John's Day - June 24 - Midsummer Day: Ancient peoples, watching the sun reach its high point at this time, lit bonfires to encourage it to shine and ripen their crops. It is a time when the cosmos brings the spiritual to man - a time when the spiritual, which animates and weaves through everything in nature, is revealed.

Michaelmas - September 29: St. Michael is known as the conqueror of the dragon, the heavenly hero with his starry sword (cosmic iron) who gives strength to people.
Christmas - An ancient festival; celebrated when the sun sends the least power to the earth, as a festival which awakens in the human being an inkling of the very wellsprings of existence, of an eternal reality. It is a time when the soul withdraws into the innermost depths to experience within itself the inner spiritual light.

We sent these to our swap partner:
Tweet Tweet
Easter Bunnies meet the Bluebirds of Happiness
The birds were inspired by We bloom here - she rules when it comes to all things peg doll. The rabbits I made up, out me 'ead like. I think they turned out pretty good meself.

And we received these back:
Beautiful Window Star
Autumn apples, cutey pie little gnome, wooden eggs, crocheted autumn leaves.

I love that my partner created autumnal themed things along with the Easter stuff. My nature table looks so pretty now.

I also took part in my first Bits of Goodness Easter Exchange:

This group does regular craft swaps with lots of different interesting themes and they run them about every two weeks or so. A great group if you really enjoy swapping things regularly. (And I do!).

We sent in little Nature Children inspired by Twig & Toadstool:

A fairy ring of little ladies
*Yawn* Just five more minutes Mother Earth. Please?
All right. All right. I'm up!
And we received these gorgeous goodies in return:

A little bendy doll with Easter Egg, a patchwork rabbit, a little needle felted Easter scene (see below), a little 'Bunny Crossing' sign & a wooden matching game. 

It's a mother duck and her four baby duckies!
Oh yes - I certainly hope so.

 Lily immediately demanded we play the matching game. She is extremely good at this game and absolutely wipes the floor with me whenever we play it together. She plays it with butterflies - matching parts of it to the whole (very hard!) and with her cute little Tinkerbell Fairy game (a birthday present). Let me admit right now that I do not try to 'let' her win. There is absolutely no need - she has the memory of an elephant, that kid.

Then there is Katie's Southern Hemisphere Seasonal Exchange for Autumn, which has been so much fun. Take a look at the flickr site if you want to see the wonderful things people make. 

I took part in the Summer exchange last season and it was just fantastic. This is a great swap for those of us living in the southern hemisphere, but people from all over the world join in. Contact Katie here southernseasonalexchange@gmail.com if you want to join in the fun. I'm guessing the next one will be Winter. I can't wait, it's my favourite season next to Autumn.

We sent these:

Hoot 1 & Hoot 2
Teensy ickle pumpkins
I tawt I taw a puddy tat a cweepin' up on me...
The whole enchilada (minus one fat knitted feline)
You can find the pattern for the knitted pumpkins here and the pattern for the cat here. I warn you though, they are very addictive to make!

Our lovely swap partner Emma Jaine (aged 8) is understandably a little behind on getting our swap to us, (they were among those who experienced those frightening tornadoes in the US - thankfully she and her family weren't hurt but their neighbourhood was), but I am told they should be posted next week. So stay tuned for piccies of our goodies received later on.

So now I am working on another swap for the Bits of Goodness group. The theme is Gnomes, Toadstools and Hedgehogs! Plus they have just announced a Summer themed swap too!

And am definitely signing up for We Bloom Here's new swap which will be announced shortly. Check out her website tomorrow for all the details.

I'm also doing another Craft Hope project with the girls - its called 'Orphan Outreach'. Read all about their new project here and please do join up if you can. It makes such a big difference.

And as if that isn't enough crafting - I'm knitting up a storm too. I will leave you with the words 'sheepy pants' because it's a cool name for what I have on the needles right now!

Phew! Stay tuned for some nourishy goodness coming your way soon.

Nighty Night.