~ loveliness found ~ 16/52

 if you would like to share your ~loveliness found~ moments from this week
please leave them in the comments or share a link to your place!

basket of knitting

~ a basket filled with beautiful but under-appreciated yarn, bought many years ago,
now being knitted into something warming & special
for someone very loved ~

extra warmth

~ dragged in from the sofa to my cold & lonely, late autumn bed,
so scrumptiously cosy ~

easter decorations

~ a little girl oohs and ahhs over the easter goodies still waiting to be put away
& then sighs that she feels sad for her mum,
she has to work so hard and never has time to make nice things
- a good reminder of how grateful I am for the blessings I have ~

butterfly pillowcase
new pillowcases

~ oh how I do love making pillowcases …
one for the little girlie & a pair for me,
such simple pleasure ~

new colour~ the end of the bleached look, thank goodness!
& with no papa to help, it’s up to mama to make it work -
I had performance anxiety ~

oast pancakes

~ Heather’s fabulous oaty pancakes, we love them so!
find the recipe here ~

freshly washed

~ the dust became more than I could bear …
time to wash the back door china ~

moomin quilt

~ tying the Moomin quilt – we’re working on the jigsaw principle …
leave it on the table with scissors, thread and needle at hand,
& it will get done in little bits of time ~

sheets~ finding the sun … & something to hang them on
I do declare I MISS the hills hoist ~

pretzel

dough

We cracked open our copy of Good to the Grain this morning.  Such a treasure trove of yumminess.  This morning, the pretzels were calling.  I feel a bit like Maria in Sound of Music when it comes to baked pretzels.  You know that bit where she sings … “somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good.”  Well, I think I must have eaten a pretzel somewhere in my youth or childhood and it must have been exceptionally good, because now, I only have to see a baked pretzel and I’m hungry.  Chewy, dense, salty.  Yum!

We used a different mix of flours to those recommended by Ms. Boyce – working on Hugh’s 500 grams of flour for bread dough, we used 250 of wholemeal spelt, and 250 of rye.  Without any white breadmaking flour the proving was slow, but a couple of hours on the floor of the sunny front porch saw the dough double in size.

shaped

Rolling the dough out and folding the ends in to form the pretty little shapes was such fun.  Then it was back to the front porch whilst the baking soda bath came to the boil.  Have you ever added baking soda to boiling water – it was awesome!  Made us feel as if we were gathered around a cauldron rather than a pot.

boiling them

Abby took charge of bathtime.  She was meticulous with the timing – into the pot, 30 seconds, turn them over, 30 seconds, back to the tray.  It was amazing how much that quick bath plumped up the little pretzels.  Abby was suitably impressed – after being rather scathing – that they didn’t simply fall apart when dropped in.  I had faith :-)

done

The picture in the cookbook showed pretzels artfully sprinkled with flakes of salt.  As we sprinkled the salt, each flake hit a pretzel and fell off.  Hmmm …. so we used the regular salt grinder for flavour and then, not to be defeated, patiently stuck a few salt flakes on for effect.

As with anything home baked, the minute we sat down to enjoy the warm, fragrant and very tasty pretzels with butter, Fu stood imploringly, front paws on my lap, waiting for her own pretzel.  Funny pup.  And we – being silly owners – gave her one.  Off she trotted to the back garden, pretzel in mouth.  As soon as she saw me, watching from the back doorway, she stopped dead in her tracks.

i said its not mine

“What are you looking at!”

not my pretzel

“Nope.  This is not my pretzel. “

i have no idea how it got there

“And I certainly have no intention of eating it.”

I walked away – but not too far :-)  and as soon as I sneaked a look, there she was, stretched out, pretzel between her paws, licking and pulling and chewing …

now i can eat it mmmm chewy

… until it was all gone.

Being just Abby and I home, we still have plate full.  Perhaps most for the freezer and a couple for dinner with scrambled eggs.  Yes that sounds good.  And pretzel making?  Highly recommended!

4 inches of floral

piecing the squares strips on kitchen tables

There have been so many photos taken of these four inch squares of floral.  Each time I work with them, the richness of the colours and many different patterns so delight me I cannot stop at just one photo.

Mum and I bought the fabrics with our Christmas money from Old Nanny days after Christmas … they are the Japanese Lawns that Spotty stock and were reduced by 40%.  For years we have been smitten with the many gorgeous quilts we see put together with simple squares of floral – especially the Liberty ones.

Neither of us are able to afford a quilt full of Liberty (alas) but a quilt of Japanese Lawns when on special – oh yes!  Especially when we only needed to buy 25 centimetres of each fabric and then divide it in half – half for me, half for mum.  That way we were able to choose twice as many patterns and make our quilts as busy and vibrant as possible.

back at mums quilting it

I began cutting the fabrics up straight away – couldn’t help myself – iron, iron, iron, whip, whip, whip with the rotary cutter.  By the time we arrived at Mum’s for our summer holiday, I had a bag full of 4 1/2 inch strips and squares for both her and me.  And slowly, in fits and spurts, mine has come together.  Mum – who has the most glorious sewing studio, a room that looks out across her lush and pretty back garden to the mountains AND fills with honey like warm sunshine every afternoon – has done NOTHING with her strips.  Goodness me Mum!  What are you doing with your days!  Too much golf and playing with the neighbour’s baby methinks! :-)

I – not having the same beachy or baby delights – have managed to squeeze the blooming of this quilt in around the girlchild and husband, essays and classes, chores and little girlies (poke, poke Mum :-) – and am very pleased that now, with the advent of cooler weather, my scrappy floral quilt is all ready to go.

finished tossed on clothes horse bottom on clothes horse

It will be especially useful this winter.  I’ve decided – with willing consensus from Jules and grudging consensus from Abby – that we will NOT be using the heating this year.  Man, am I sick of approaching the letter box in fear of how huge that gas bill will be.  And let’s face it – we live in Melbourne, not Moscow.  Our nights get cold – usually below 10.  But the days are usually around 15 and frankly, all we need to do is pop on a jumper or shawl to be warm (Julian likes a beanie for his head – his fault for shaving off his hair).  At night – snuggle into a shawl and tuck a quilt around our legs.  And in bed – we’re toasty roasty with flannel sheets and quilts.  There are no water pipes to prevent from freezing so to crank up the heating each day and then wander about the house in just a long sleeved tshirt is simply ridiculous – bad for the environment, bad for the purse, and very bad for my letter box nerves.

looking towards car spread out fabric square

This here square with its reds and pinks and oranges and yellows and greys and greens is my utmost favourite.  Looks so warm and busy.  Makes me think of bees and sunshine and old English china.  I have another metre of it that I shall make into a scarfy thing.  With a crochet trim.  Better get stuck into that.

pinks and purples the ties blanket through the wood

This quilt – made from fabric so floaty and delicate – is backed with one of my beloved vintage blankets.  Cosy and soft.  And – continuing with the current, machine-broken trend – tied with perle thread.  You know – I wouldn’t have embarked upon all this tying had my machine not broke, but I have to say, I just LOVE tying quilts.  It is so simple and easy – none of the stress of yanking and squishing the quilt around the sewing machine, or fretting over lines not perfectly straight.  It makes the quilts so soft and smooshable.  And – it gets them done so quick.  I have boxes of quilt tops waiting for that magic moment – the moment when I have a lovely big sewing studio, with a big quilting frame for my machine, and heaps of skill to match.  That moment will not be arriving any time soon.  But tying on my kitchen table – just right for where I am now, and as I think I’ve mentioned before – when that magical moment arrives, if I want, my quilts will ready and “basted” for action.

on sofa from back of sofa

Now, my scrappy floral quilt is ready and folded on the sofa.  It had its first outing last night and I’m pleased to report, it was delicious :-)

p.s. Mum – get to your sewing machine woman, and then you won’t have to worry about leaving your firewood in the rain!  You’ll have a lovely warming quilt instead!

 

 

a quilted mat for the kitchen

supplies gathered sewing it by hand

The first stitching project I sat down to upon our return from our Christmas beach holiday earlier this year, was a quilted mat for the kitchen floor.  I have a silly pet hate – getting wet feet whilst I wash up.  I manage this effortlessly, regularly sloshing the water from the sink onto the floor directly in front of me.  Ugh!  Whilst I do appreciate that this is a terribly insignificant problem in the grand scheme of things, I do like to have something absorbent under my feet whilst washing the dishes.  Feels much nicer and leaves me with nice dry feet.

I chose an old dark bath mat for the base (won’t show the dirt!) and then some scraps from the sewing shed to quilt straight onto the bath mat.  Alas, only a couple of strips in and my lovely big quilting machine BROKE.  Yup.  I manage to snap the needle AND twist the shaft the needle screws into out of alignment.  Hmph.  None of my other machines have quilting feet so the only way this quilted kitchen mat was going to move forward was by hand.

My enthusiasm for such handpiecing and quilting was initially quite good.  This did not last.  And here we are in April with still no quilted kitchen mat.  Until this morning.  It was raining.  Dark.  Cold.  Julian left for Europe last night.  Abby was at school.  My, my! Perfect opportunity to plop onto the sofa, in from of ABC’s iView, and finish it off.

on the sofa done other end old towel hand quilting a nice corner

And I did!  Took one episode of “Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital” and one of “Silent Witness”.  And a metal thimble.  Pushing my needle through the dense, hundreds of times washed and meshed border of the bathmat was hard work.  Well worth it though.  The colours and prints are so pretty – there’s fabric from here, there and everywhere … the beach quilt I made for Mum when she moved to her beachside home, Abby’s Moomin quilt, Caleb’s birth quilt, the Funky Monkey quilt that has not yet been finished, the reproduction shirting that was going to become a shirt but found its way into so many projects, it could now only make a shirt for a borrower.

It looks very jolly in the kitchen – especially with the pretty coloured chairs.  And best of all – it kept my feet dry when I washed up this evening.  Perfect :-)  Now perhaps I should make a backup so that when this one’s in the wash … or maybe I’ll wait until my quilting machine is fixed.

in situ

Ahhh … I do so love how pretty strips of fabric can be put together so simply to make something that is both marvellously functional and adds such light and happiness to our home.   Truly makes my day :-)

just add crochet

:: sigh :: I think I may need to put down the crochet hook.  If I’m not careful, every litle thing will wind up with a crochet trim.  I fear I will soon turn into The Chicken Sisters, Laura Numeroff’s fabulous picture book that Abby loved when she was little … omg!  Check out the knitted lampshade!  I think I’m already there!!!!

knitting chicken

Mind you – the one thing I’ve always wanted to add a pretty crochet trim to are my white sheets and I haven’t yet done that.  Just think … I could sit in bed all cosy and crochet at the same time.  I’d have to do it when Julian’s away so I could slide across the bed as required.  Hee! Hee!

But today we are talking thrifted smock.  White linen with nice pin tuck detail on bodice.  Now it has a crocheted mandala on the lower bodice front and a wee grey crochet trim around the neck.  Quite nice I think.  And awfully pleasant to do.

button hole twist

DSC_7018 in my lap glowing in the sun

The colours were from the wee balls of perle cotton I bought when we visited Bega at Christmas.  I love these balls of thread.  They always make me think of “button hole twist” – an item I regularly read about in novels set in or from the 19th century.  Of course, real button hold twist is made from silk and perle thread is cotton.  But I just like the notion.  Wee balls of button hole twist.  Mmmmm ….

closeup of mandala collar edging

 

If I was to do it again, I would make the concentric circles a little closer to each other.  Yes, definitely.  I always prefer things smooshed together.  I would also lift the whole thing a bit higher – that’s what you get for making it up as you go.  And looking at these photos, maybe it needs something inside the first circle to add a bit of density?  Something worth pondering.  These things are a learning experience, aren’t they.

There’s one other problem with the overall effect … which has nothing to do with the smock or crochet … but I’ll leave that for another day … later in the week?  Yes.  Today we’ll just concentrate on the niceties of life such as prettily coloured crochet.

full length

And in the meantime, I shall try very hard to leave the crochet hook in the needle jar.  Despite Mum saying how lovely a mandala would look on a little black cardie.  Hmmm … it would, wouldn’t it.

 

~ loveliness found ~ 15/52

 if you would like to share your ~loveliness found~ moments from this week
… & I would so love it if you did …
please leave them in the comments or share a link to your place!

pumpkins self serve

~ stopping on the way home at each farm gate stall
pumpkins & pears – perhaps autumn is here ~

currant buns with butter

~ if we call them currant buns, we can not only bake them anytime we want
but also imagine we are the Famous Five, ready for adventure ~

making pompoms

~ finally testing out the pompom maker
good stuff ~

lamp through window

~ oh the silly things I’ll do for a photo ~

pattern and fabric

~ a lovely afternoon shopping for fabric with Abby
which led to a VERY illuminating experience ~

drawing

~ the start of something very special ~

quilt on table

almost ready

~ making the most of when the mice are away …
or just in bed ~

reading adhoc scarf

~ but even when he appears, he’s happy to work with it
& make the most of what’s laying around ~

having a giggle with abby

~ now this is for Abby – one of the silly photos we took the other afternoon
just so’s you know we LOVE a good giggle at ourselves here in Bootville
oh dear :-)  we’ll have to add this one to the daft-looks archive ~

chopping a cardie

… as opposed to knitting a cardie :-)

the jum[er straight up the midle

It started with this jumper … I think I inherited it from an aunty … it’s lambswool with a bit of mohair.  Very soft and cosy.  But it was just a little claustrophobic as a jumper and it’s sat, unworn, in my woollens cupboard for the last three years.  So – time to go or change.  Change sounded like fun.

I measured to the middle of the front.  Chopped it straight up, cheerful as.  And not a single row began to unravel.  Knitting is so much more resilient than we often give it credit for!

band fabric sewing on the band

I found the perfect size piece of fabric – a 5 inch strip, full width.  Cut it in half lengthwise so I that I had 2 1/2 inch strips.  Ironed them in half lengthwise and stitched them onto the right side of the jumper, raw edges together, as I would a quilt binding.  I hand stitched this into place on the wrong side, taking care to keep the stitches as close to the binding’s edge on the front so as to help them hide.

adding the crochet

Then … a wee bit of crochet.  Oh, I couldn’t help it.  I’m just smitten with these sweet edgings.  I pondered a crocheted “brooch” on the upper left side.  Abby said yes! – but I think she says yes to most things just to amuse me.  Julian said no! – go for less is more, it looks lovely right now.  So I stopped.  Maybe I’ll make one that I can put on and take off.

done

longer

I love how it’s turned out – looks kind of 1950s  - makes me think of a Miss Marple film.

knitting

It’s such a treat to wear now – so cosy! so soft! so easy!  I shall certainly be keeping my eyes out for another similar jumper – I’d really like one in red and one in grey.  Yes, that would be good.  Until then, pink is just fine.

And now, I’m off to bed with a new lighthouse book … The Light Between Oceans, by M. L. Stedman.  It’s set on a tiny, rocky island off the southern coast of Western Australia shortly after World War I.  The protagonists are a married couple who are the island’s lighthouse keepers.  It begins with their rescue of a baby who has washed ashore in a small dinghy.  It’s beautifully written, so descriptive … Ms. Stedman has a magical way with words … and terribly moving.  Oh life is so complicated isn’t it.  It also feeds into my lighthouse fascination so well – oooooh, I can just picture the howling winds and enormous waves.  But there’s still a way to go and plenty to yet unravel.  So I shall say goodnight … and hang this newly chopped pink cardie on my desk chair until tomorrow.

Good night!

a stripy skirt for a lamp

 

:: tidying the mess – part 2

thread first the stitches adding chain closeup crochet red andblue
Started today with an early morning clinical prac – how to draw blood.  And practiced successfully on a very clever mannikin.  Not only did she give me satisfying amounts of blood from her cephalic vein but she didn’t even wince.

Also learnt how to empty a stoma bag.  Not quite as exciting.  But reinforced a lesson I learnt last year on placement.  My very first day of clinical placement, when confronted with a lot of bodily fluids of the odorous variety, I wasn’t sure how on earth I would deal with it.  I felt equally overwhelmed and pathetic.  How could I be a nurse if my stomach churned at the thick and often lingering smell of urine and faeces, let alone close contact with it.  Well, it wasn’t long before a patient had a significant “accident” – she cried and cried, apologising over and over.  In an instant, the smells and ickiness of it all disappeared.  I felt only love and compassion for this woman and it just didn’t matter. This thought/feeling – that this patient or any other was worthy of my love, compassion and care – has seen me through a lot of ickiness.

Then today, as I emptied the fake contents of the stoma bag, one of my fellow students who works in a residential facility shared a story about one of her patients who recently had a colostomy – a distressing procedure for most folk.  I asked her how she felt emptying the bag and she said she just felt so much compassion for her patient and his situation that she didn’t even flinch.  It really is true – and I’ve even found it works for patients I don’t really know.  I learnt in first year psychology that statistically, mums have the highest tolerance level of any other group in the population for ickiness.  Perhaps being a mum and a nurse is an especially good combination for ickiness toleration.

Anyways – you didn’t drop by to hear about poo!  So we’ll move onto pretty things, huh?  Like the special kind of tidying I like the most.  Today’s tidy – the piano lamp.

making the pattern cutting out the pieces

See, I bought a lampshade at Ikea a while back – it was in the seconds section – $2, plain white.  I could instantly see pretty fabrics and colours so brought it home.  Now, I’ve covered several lampshades in my time, but I have to confess – they’ve all been straight sided.  Easy peasy.  This one – steep angles.  Hmmmm …

looking messy

So I wrapped it in brown paper, drew lines where they needed to go and trimmed it.  Then – because I wanted the stripey look, I measured lines onto my brown paper pattern and cut them out.  I measured every few centimetres and placed a dash – so as to preserve the curve.  Then I cut each piece out, adding seam allowance as I went.  I pinned the pieces onto the lampshade, realised the $2 lampshade had no structural bits inside with which to PUT it on a lampbase, so stuck it on top of a small plain white one …. and left it there … for several weeks.  The above photo is how it looked day one.  Each piece was reasonably in place.  By day umpteen, the bottom piece had fallen off and was hanging off the piano and all the rest had slipped.  Good look.

one lampshade skirt

Today, first things first – I sewed the tiers together.  Then, in a fit of crochet fever that I’ve been suffering from since making the felted eggs, I sat and crocheted a small trim onto the bottom of each of the top five tiers.  You know what?!  I’ve decided, this is what folks did before we had industrially made rickrack.  I’ve done no research on this, my theory is pure lily-ology.  But as I look at it – a crochet trim makes the perfect rickrack.  Made to fit the exact length of fabric you have – no dodgy attempts at finishing the ends required.  In whatever colour you desire (or have thread for :-) and you don’t have to fiddle and faddle with it whilst you’re sewing up the seam, hoping it is evenly placed all along.  Must admit – takes about 5 times as long to do.  But – a very pleasant way to spend a few hours for a very sweet result.  What do you think – about the theory that is?  And don’t you just wish it was big enough to wear!  I do :-)

with fu

glowing red and blue done

Perserverance … ignoring the rest of the family … saw it finished by dusk.  I haven’t yet solved the problem of no internal bits, so it’s still sitting atop the other smaller shade.  But that’s not too bad – maybe I’lll add something to the bottom of it – might make it less conspicuous.  Regardless – I’m very pleased with the finished shade.  It looks just as I’d hoped it would.  Kind of reminds me of those amazing lamps where they’ve stacked up odd pieces of china for the base.  Must be the odd bits of fabric with their bumpy crocheted trims – bit like pretty teacups stacked in the cupboard.

looking up in situ

And the piano corner looks nice and tidy now.  Phew!  Another tick off for the list.

 

tidying the mess – part 1

pin cushions and binding

Well … this afternoon, Julian, Abby and Sacha headed out to the airport.  I was left standing in the kitchen wondering what to do.  Research for next week’s essay or studying for tomorrow’s philosophy quiz were completely out of the question.  Vacuuming … could be very valuable given the amount of Fu fluff that is everywhere, but deadly boring.  Hmmmm …

I could sit and mope.  Bit dull.  And wouldn’t be useful.  No, not at all.  I could plonk onto the sofa, maybe knit, maybe watch some television.  This I almost did … but then I looked around at the terrible mess that has overrun the craft corner and table and decided some serious tidying was in order.

french general heidi grandads hat

knitting

in the shopping bag You know the kind of tidying when you SEW your way through the piles.  Yes :-)  My kind of tidying.  Terrifically practical.  Marvellously productive.  Immensely satisfying.  And so very, very necessary! So I started with this here bag.  Packed since our CHRISTMAS holiday to Merimbula and shoved under one piece of furniture after another since it’s return home.  Yes, there’s been some serious avoidance where this bag’s concerned.

not much to go

I even started with the most guilt inducing.  Abby’s Christmas present … her Moomin quilt.  Finished but for the final border across the bottom.  That should be easy enough to tackle in the time it takes for one to drive to the airport and back.  In fact, there was enough time to finish the quilt top, give the front room a vigorous, proper tidy, walk up to the shops for a few groceries, and cook supper.  Win!  Win!

finished

looking up

with pegsOh I do love how this sweet quilt has turned out!  The only newly bought fabric is the red background with the little mushroom houses, foxes and dwarves.  The rest is from the stash.  The Moomin fabric and the gorgeous pieces of Marimekko were gifted to me several years ago by the loveliest woman in Finland.  Thank you so much dear Anne!  I knew the time would come when there would be the perfect project for them :-)  The other bits and pieces were collected here and there.

closer

moomin mama moomin little my

In designing it, I started with the Moomin fabric.  I didn’t want just plain squares, but DID want something that would let all these dear little characters sing.  Thus the darker borders (Marimekko) with the clean and vivid red, pink and white floral corners, and finally, the crisp black and white spot that reflected the simple black and white drawings of Jansson’s Moomins.

The poison green represents the round and round and up and down of the Finnish forests in which the Moomins make their home.  The feed sack turquoise with the little children in their pyjamas with their pillows … remembering how, when Abby was little, she would hop into bed and I would pull over the armchair and read and read and read.  Filling her sleepy, dreamy head with Moomin adventures and magic.

The next border – the squares of red and the wonderful boughs with twinkling baubles (I think this is a William Morris fabric – not sure) will remind us that this Moomin quilt was made for Christmas.

little houses in the woods in the grass corner

Finishing the sides is a red and white Scandinavian fabric – a tilt to the Moomin’s cultural heritage.  And last but not least … the whimsical red fabric, the flower-filled, blue summer sky, and a bit more Marimekko.  They’re little houses, see!  In amongst the trees.  I was thinking of the little summer cottages the Scandinavian folk build in their forests and around their lakes.

You can read it in or out.  I like out to in.  We start in the summer cottages amongst the tall tall trees – slightly magical in itself – reading Tove Jansson’s wonderful tales and poring over the quirky pictures.  Then, at night, when we’re asleep, we’re able to wander through the valleys to Moominland and tag along on the many adventures these dear little folk have.

waiting for her

Yes I do love it!  I can even imagine myself, years from now, reading the Moomin books to Abby’s children who will be snuggled under this quilt.  For now … here it is on her bed, waiting to hopefully bring a smile to her face on what will be the first quiet night we’ve had in a long while.

To finish it, I have the perfect blue and white checked blanket to quilt this flimsy onto and I’ve promised the girl child it will happen before the weekend’s out.

p.s. oy!  when I pegged the quilt top onto the garden swing it was immediately obvious that I’ve put the left checked border on upside down – bugger!  That’s what you get for late night Christmas sewing.  I foresee a bit of unpicking.

friends

at her feet

reading

Abby and Sacha have been friends since they were wee little cuties in Mary Janes and striped school dresses.  From the moment they met, they were kindred spirits.   When we moved to Melbourne, Sacha came too to help Abby settle in.  And she’s been back again and again and again.  We call her our other daughter.

Sometimes, school and teenage busyness takes over and there may be a few weeks between skype sessions and endless texting.  But that never matters.  When the holidays roll around, Sacha is on that plane in a flash and they pick up where they left off.

They spent the first hours of Easter Sunday sprawled out in the front room, a huge pile of picture books between them, reading and sharing and giggling and going goosey all over (Tomie De Paola will do that to you … have you read Nana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs … oh my!  I’ve gone tingly all over and hot tears have welled up in my eyes just typing the title).  Listening to them was all the pleasure I needed for the day.

Then the scroll saw called from the shed … an environment that strikes me as terribly gloomy, especially on a cool grey day.  But they went prepared with chocolate, blankets, quilts and music …

behind the door

added cosiness

soundtrack

… Abby gave Sacha a crash course in how it all worked.  She picked it up quickly – she’d done woodwork at school in Year 8 – so cool!  And they set to designing and cutting out their toys … in their pyjamas.  Real friends don’t need to get dressed.

concentraing

pyjamas

their toys

Then, armed with advice from the internet about using food colouring for their wood stains – why didn’t I think of this ?!?!?!? – they moved into the laundry where they spent a riotous few hours making watery colours and experimenting.  The results were sweet. Even lovelier – the way these two find so much joy in everything around them.  They are my own little Anne and Diana :-)

testing the food colouring

abby's graeme

sacha kitty

Our lovely week with Nan followed.  Sacha was delighted with everything we did and loved every place we visited.  And having her friend to share it with not only made Abby so happy, but gave her a new appreciation of the beautiful south coast.  Isn’t it funny how things become so much more magical when there’s someone to show it all too.  They swam and played and drew and read and explored and picnicked and watched films with us and ooohed and ahhhed over all the dear little animals.  Bliss!

The drive home from Canberra was an absolute riot.  We left so late – after 8pm – which meant the three hour drive was in the pitch black.  And when you’re driving across the Monaro and down Brown Mountain, it is PITCH BLACK.  But the two in the back kept us in stitches all the way, thanks to “Numbugga”.  Yes, that really is a small village on the South Coast.  Numbugga.  We now have Numbugga tribal chants (with dance steps) and Numbugga Buddhist meditations to add to the family song book.  And a new record for the number of times you can say Numbugga quickly.  Abby can make it to 27.  You try it.  It’s very tricksy :-)

Add to that the diminutive male petrol station attendant in Fyshwick who admired my braids, the two very large men that had crashed their little car into the cliff face on Brown Mountain and were standing forlornly beside it, the Bemboka publican, the copper from Bega, and the helicopter that we swear was circling us on the Princes Highway, and it was a night we will always remember with tears of laughter.  We felt as if we were in a Cohen brothers film.

Now we are only one sleep away from dropping Sacha back at the airport.  How does the last day come so quickly?  :: sigh ::  It’s a shame we can’t keep her!

cream bun sacha and the bun

at blue pool together

But I know that when she returns, they will simply pick up where they left off and wonderful times will be created all over again.

Oh they are such lucky ducks, these two girlies, and how I love them both!

p.s. Sacha wants her own “owl sweater” – ooooooh, how exciting!  I can’t wait to knit it again!

~ loveliness found ~ 14/52

if you would like to share your ~loveliness found~ moments from this week
… & I would so love it if you did …
please leave them in the comments or share a link to your place!

all that blue

cliffside picnics

~ picnicking at a magical spot
where rolling green hills meet the glittering blue sea
underneath a freshly painted sky ~

alpacas

the kids

~ making roadside friends wherever we go,
whilst dreaming of how amazing it will be when we have our own ~

apples

golden mornings

with podge

~ freshly picked, organic & so very local,
eaten every which way & especially lovely when softly cooked
until golden and served with our morning podge ~

dandelion

purple flowers

yellow flower

grass

~ finding my inner Ophelia
as I make the family stop yet again
so that I may sigh over the prettiness of these sweet weeds flowers ~

ceiling tiles

poppies

~ filled with awe, respect & sadness
as we stop to give thanks, in such a beautiful place,
to those who have given so much ~

new paths

rich colours

~ yet another new path that takes us to another new beach
filled with such wildness & beauty, it sweeps our breath away ~

jolly girls

running back to the car

~ a pair of girlies who, for four hours, cheerfully leap in & out of the car,
Flat Stanley in hand,
to pose him for a little boy and his kindergarten class
far, far away in Canada ~

busyness felted jumpers my busyness~ at home busyness …
on the porch, in early morning beds,
downstairs in the sewing room .. all three of us, cut from the same cloth ~

shy visitor

the locals

~ catching up with the locals … I really MUST
get stuck into that long list I put together at Christmas ~

beach play


view

sunscreen and blts

Ahhhh … you know where we are, don’t you.  Yes, Abby, Sacha and I have made the trek across the Gippsland and are spending a week with Mum in marvellous Merimbula.  Oh how I do love this sweet seaside village.  Only a few more years and our family will be moving up here.  Until then … we will journey back and forth, spend lovely hours at our favourite spots, and soak up all the sunshine, salt and beautiful vistas we can.  Day One … Bar Beach.  We began our afternoon of bliss on the deck of the wee beachside cafe and shared the loveliest lunch … toasted leg ham and cheese sandwiches with homemade tomato chutney.

Then it was down to the water’s edge where the girls swam, frolicked and squealed, whilst Mum and I stretched out in the sun, our feet buried in the soft warm sand, our needlework and knitting on our laps …

the girls

splash

mum

new knitting caddy

wading

wringing wet

Then, as the clouds uhmmed and ahhhed about whether or not they should crash down upon us, the girls decided that to stay in the water any longer would be to risk frost bite.  There were sandcastles to be built and mermaids sculpted …

lowering sky

sandcastle

reinforcing their moat

folly

Oh how I laughed when I met the mermaid … it is a sandy representation of our stoic prime minister, Julia.  Complete with this year’s new glasses, dangly earrings and pearls.  And subtitles in case any passers by didn’t recognise her …  and Oscar sweetie, look who’s cuddled up there with Ms. Julia … it’s your little travelling friend, Flat Stanley!  He had such a lovely time at the beach – and even had a swim with the girls :-)

julia look oscar

subtitle

It’s such a funny thing … often I find myself lost in daydreams of our future life in the beautiful Bega Valley.  I think of the new hospital being built that I hope to work in.  I think of being close to Mum and being able to share so much more of her days.  I wonder what Abby will pursue once she finishes school.  I marvel at Julian’s big dreams.  And I think, come on, come on, faster, faster, faster, finish this semester, move closer to the end of yet another year in Melbourne.

Then, I realise that I am wishing away these very days I have been blessed with right now.  And I don’t want that.  Yes, they are busy, sometimes stressful, money is often painfully tight ( ah, the joy of new tyres, car maintenance and repairs, and an electricity bill that all arrive in the same week), and frankly, I am getting to the point of being OVER studying … I want to be a real grownup with a job!

Because I also want to savour every moment of Abby’s childhood, especially now as it’s moving into its last years.  I want to find and enjoy the loveliness of everyday.  I want to make the most of this wonderful opportunity to grow and learn and build my skills.

So …. here I sit, making the most of this lovely week away.  Chattering and giggling with Mum.  Delighting in the antics of the girls.  Filling my heart and eyes with the beauty around me.  And tucking the dreams of what will come, away in my heart, knowing that they will arrive sooner than I can imagine.

makes me think of tiny cliff caves shouting
red rock