Friday, February 24, 2017

an empty space

On Monday we lost a friend of ours.
It was so cruel, so sudden, it has left us all gasping for breath.
The reality of her passing has not yet sunk in.
The space she has left is enormous and gaping.
There will always be a space where she should have been.
She left behind four children, whose pain I cannot even begin to imagine. 
For me personally she was a witness. She was one of the few people who knew me when I first moved here, another life time ago.
She was a witness to the changes in my life when my marriage broke down, she was a witness to the changes in my life as I came into myself and she was a witness to the changes in my life when I met and fell in love with Garry.
She always rooted for me, had a kind and supportive word and a radiant smile.
She will be missed always.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

days like these...

 oh how I love days like these! We had nothing we had to do today, no where we had to go and time stretched ahead, an uncommon luxury for us these days.
Our day began with pancakes and paper games.
 Rebe and Benny made paper swords while Ena and Joa drew and read. After that Rebe asked if she could use the marzipan that has been in the fridge since Christmas to try and make something...
 The morning had been wet and over cast, perfect weather, I thought, for a snail hunt.
I have always found snails to be the perfect toddler's insect. Funny looking, easy to watch and pick up and slow enough to enjoy without getting a fright. As Ena had yet to see a real life snail we thought that we would take her on a snail hunt. So after Brock woke from his nap we had lunch and headed off on a snail hunt.

We looked for snails on the walls and stones all down the hill stopping to answer several million 'Wot dat?' questions from Ena
 Our first discovery was a worm, but he was too wiggly for Ena to touch. Rebe picked him off the road to show her and to rescue him into the grass. We hunted on and finally found a snail...
 and she was so pleased!

As the weather was getting finer and Brock very happily asleep in the buggy the kids asked if they could stay and play on the beach for a while.
It was wonderful, the clouds slowly lifted and a wonderful game of 'camp' began. This has been such a long favourite game; building a camp from whatever they find on the beach.
 It got more and more elaborate, with a small orchard of 'berry trees', a vegetable garden complete with veggie off cuts that someone had thrown into the sea to compost and a fire place.

 Firewood was gathered and a spit constructed using bits of old fisherman's rope.
On the menu...roasted leek!
 The kids went on to make weapons for hunting: Rebe made a bow and arrow, the arrow had a stone head and feathers tied onto the quiver. The boys both had axes and Joa told me he loved going for beach walks with me because I was so good at tying stones onto sticks (I have had years of practice after all).

After several hours of play, energy started to wane (despite the roasted leek) so we headed on to the cafe for a coffee and an ice cream.

 On our way home we stopped for another play at the camp, I fed Brock on the beach chatting with friends. All the kids found playmates and it reminded me of summer days on the beach. It reminded someone else of the summer too so much so he decided to get into the water, spiderman costume, shoes and all! So with a soaking wet boy and dinner time approaching we reluctantly came home. But, oh what a wonderful day!

Friday, November 18, 2016

a new arrival

Wow, it's been such a long time since I was here. I have missed this space, but life has been so busy, Ena has been so busy that I have just had no time to sit down at the computer.
So much has happened in the 9 months since I last posted, I can't even begin to update you on everything, but the most important, exciting and beautiful news is the arrival of this little man!
Brock McKenzie Barrett was born here at home 2 weeks ago. It was a quick and beautiful birth, he was delivered by Garry and I alone here at home while my mum fielded all the kiddies for breakfast. He is just a delight, peaceful and calm like his birth and pregnancy.
We are adjusting to life as a family of 7, but he is so mousey and quiet that so far it is going well and we are enjoying family life so much.
Everyone is so in love with him and we are all happy and well.
I do hope to be back here more often again, but I won't make any promises (to myself) as we are just taking life moment by moment, day by day, and enjoying every second of it!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

yesterday around the house...

flowers from Benny for Mother's Day

Eggs from the 5th

some of my favourite things

messy work table (that is a fake poo by the way!)


on Joa's bed

minecraft birthday card by Joa for his friend

Happy Mothers Day cake from Rebe

Thursday, March 3, 2016

spring knitting

 Looking at these pictures makes me realise how much I have been looking forward to spring. Winter has been a bit of a slog this year, lots of grey skies, lots of wind and lots and lots and lots of rain. But the days are getting longer and we've been getting lots of beautiful days of late.
Crafting is slow here, painfully so at times. Ena does not go to bed in the evenings and is rubbish at napping too unless she is being walked in the buggy (and obviously walking and knitting don't go together) or is in the sling, so my hands are never free to make things for any length of time.
Luckily I knew it would be this way  so everyone waiting for a doll understands how very slow I am this year, so slow in fact that the 2016 waiting list is now full!
Saying that I sometimes get a few minutes here and there to work on some projects.
I had wanted to knit this robin for years, and once we got going it was quick. Last week I made the nest and the kids started to really play with it, so we needed eggs next and Rebe knitted the little robin chick, then of course we needed worms for the mama to bring for the baby. It was lovely watching them play with this little home made set and to hear what an amazing understanding they have of bird life..
Ena's need for a new, bigger sweater gave me permission to make her a bumble bee one. The yarn is a gorgeous soft superwash 100% wool and it made it big enough to last several months at least :-)
The rainbow dungarees you've already seen but people wanted to see an action shot :-)
I am not sure what is going to be on the needles next, I have a really interesting doll project at the moment, but I think I will knit a little something on the side too...any ideas?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

a portrait of Ena at 9 months

My baby, my dear Bumble BeEna, my sweet darling.
2 days ago you became 9 months old. How can you only be 9 months, when it feels like you have been here forever?
You are a joy and a delight, a light in our lives.
You are 9 months old,
you have 4 little teeth and more on the way.
Your hair is growing, you have a quiff like your daddy's and tiny little curls that hang over your ears.
You have just learnt to crawl and creep slowly around the room, picking up everything I don't want you to.
You pull up to stand, delighted with yourself and take big, clumsy steps with a grin on your face. You will never hold on with 2 hands, always letting go with one, preferring to feel your own balance.
You say hello to everyone, especially that baby in the mirror. Your little arm outstretched palm open and facing the person.
You love kids and babies. Kissing your older brothers and sister and watching them with concern on your face if they are upset. When we are with other babies you try to get to them, to touch them and coo at them, and if she cries then you cry too.
You love sitting at the dinner table with us all, dropping little bits of what you have to the dogs.
We play a game together, all banging the table with our hands like you do, following your lead, stopping when you do. It makes you laugh.
You like eating. At the moment your favourite things are soup and home-made gingerbread. Yesterday you asked me for a drink of my water from the glass and you learnt to drink, just like a big girl.
Bath time makes you happy, although it drives me nuts as you spend your whole time trying to stand up using the handles on the sides of the bath.
You love music and danced before you could stand or crawl. You shake your head and bounce up and down or if you're in the sling or being held in daddy's arms you kick your legs and wave your arms. Your favourite song is still Uptown Funk.
At night you sleep with us, needing to feel our closeness, often with daddy's finger clenched tightly in your little fist.
When you wake you look for me and snuggle in close for a few minutes before drifting off again. You are pretty rubbish at going to bed though and need comforting every hour or so, which can be tiring, but I know it won't be forever and after all you are only little...but I would really like it if you could stop biting me please.
Darling girl, you are so loved, we are so blessed that you chose us, how we have loved every second of these past 9 months

Sunday, January 10, 2016

not dolls...

Even though I took all of December off from making dolls, I didn't of course stop making things.
I have really enjoyed being free to make what I wanted to without feeling guilty that I should be working on people's orders. I am going to try and balance that a bit more this year: doll making and making other things including some more clothes for the kids.
Anyway here are a few of the projects that I worked on...

 A knitted robin, I've had this pattern for several years and never made the time to knit it. There is a little nest to make too and 3 tiny eggs that tuck under the tail feathers.
Poor Ena, I have been hankering to knit rainbow dungarees for a long time, too and had the yarn for ages. It is a drops recycled cotton and I love the colours. I made them very bloomer-y and I hope that they will grow with her.
Around Christmas time we watched Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium In it there is a little sad sock monkey who sits on a shelf and every time anyone walks past him he holds out his arms for a hug. Well it broke Joa's heart and he asked me to make him one. I was surprised how quick it was, I found a pattern online and made him out of 3 old socks. Rebe and I had fun for several days afterwards making him clothes, she made the trousers for him and I knitted his jumper and hat.
 Today, because he needs them, I made Joa a matching pair of trousers complete with 'peekers' another long time request.

The kids are always busy making things too and I am really enjoying listening and watching them play at the moment with what they make.
Benny made an I-pad out of kinetic sand
Rebe made a mask out of an old cereal box

They have made themselves a wonderful minecraft handbook to help them should they ever get a minecraft game