paper cranes

by a wintry window

You tricksy Melbourne weather, you!  Both this morning and yesterday morning, I awoke to blue skies and sunshine – it was lovely!  So appreciated!

But before the hour was even out, you’d sent in the heavy clouds, gusty wind and rain.  Sigh! And to think, I’d coveted the delicious hope that by the end of this weekend, the top half of our newly acquired ($20 on eBay) Estey pump organ (circa 1880) would be scrubbed, all its lovely golden wood grain revealed.  No chance.

snoozy fu

needle felting

So after a morning shuttling the Year 12 child back and forth from a Japanese examination workshop – not the examination, just a 3 hour workshop on how to prepare for the examination – there was little else to do but embrace the indoorsiness of it all.

Julian settled in for an afternoon with his guru – Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall – we will know all of Hugh’s puns and witticisms off by heart by the end of the year.  Fu snuggled up beside him.  Abby scorned homework and spent hours needlepointing little dolls of her favourite characters from her latest anime passion – a series about volleyball players ?!

And I jumped into the marvellous paper lover’s edition of Flow that came out a couple of months back.  Now, I’m really dreadful with this kind of thing.  I gleefully buy it.  Reverently look through it – often over and over.  Sigh over all its loveliness … and then do NOTHING with it because it’s too special to use.

Which means it never gets used.


extra bunting


Well, not today!  A gloomy wet day was the perfect day to pull out the saved prettiness and put it to good use.

Now we are a paper doll family – I indulged something shocking when Abby was little.  We have a vintage suitcase full – Little House dolls, Narnia dolls, American Girl dolls, Russian Royal Family dolls, Curious George dolls … including more that were saved from my childhood.  But frankly, our paper doll playing days are over.

Yes I know, we should all be embracing more play, but it’s not happening.  So I took Flow’s dear little paper Raccoon doll and her outfits, had Abby scan them in to the computer, copy and flip one (and it’s costume) around, make another copy child size, popped them all on a USB and in between that workshop shuttling, printed them off at Officeworks for the grand total of $3.75.

laid out

I laid them out on a recently bought Muji wooden tray – like a little stage set, complete with a little string of Flow bunting …


fresh flowers

… then chose the lightest spot in the house to sit – at the old singer in the dining room window – and set to glueing and sealing it all with ModgePodge.  Julian was obligatorily horrified – why would I DO this to a perfectly nice wooden tray.  You’d think he’d understand by now, hmmm :-) Anything plain is just waiting to be Lilified.

In fact, I’m thinking of buying another wooden tray and the Phoebe Wahl paper dolls from Taproot and make Julian a FARM version.  He’ll love it.

looking for the bare bits

And so flew past a couple of sweet hours.  Hugh took his first pigs to the abattoir (yet again), made Parma ham (yet again), went diving for scallops (yet again), made lamb mince pies to sell so he could afford a goose for Christmas (yet again), had his Christmas eve gatecrashed by his apple cider / skittle mates (yet again) – whilst Julian ooohed and ahhhed with ever-growing excitement and regular detailing of next years plans to Abby who jabbed her needle up and down whilst answering “Mmhmm!  Mmhmm! Mmmhmmm!”  She’s very excited by the prospect of farming ;-)


closer look


And now we have a dear little wooden tray decorated with gardening raccoons that we can use come spring and summer when all we want to do is sit in a sunny warm garden with good food and a drink or two by our side.

Ah winter – you delivered a topsy turvy one today, but it simply didn’t matter.  There was too much goodness to be found inside to notice.


winter whimsy :: the gardening raccoons

6 thoughts on “winter whimsy :: the gardening raccoons

  • July 26, 2015 at 8:45 pm


  • July 26, 2015 at 11:06 pm


  • July 27, 2015 at 10:32 am

    I love my Flow magazines… sigh… too perfect to cut up.

  • July 27, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Hi Lily, I’m so excited for you. You will love farm life. To wake up each morning to rolling green hills and dairy cows strolling by the fence. To see your chickens free ranging in the paddock. To go out to your garden and pick the veggies you want to cook for lunch. There is just nothing better. I remember our first morning here, waking up to brilliant sunshine and standing on the verandah and thinking, now what am I going to do first. We never get to the end of the jobs we plan to do but it’s just the best life. We hope to be loving this life for many years yet. Again I’m just so happy for you, Julian and your gorgeous girl.
    Blessings Gail.

  • July 29, 2015 at 3:01 am

    I had to laugh after reading this post. Here in the urban Tampa Bay, Florida, area, I have no experience at all with any kind of farming. So the terms you use especially in conjunction with farming, often make me dive into my app to figure out what you’re talking about! Now I know where Hugh took his pigs, what Parma ham and lamb mince pie is, and what skittle mates are! I hope you continue using these clearly Australian/English terms, and I will continue to grow my vocabulary. :-)

  • August 23, 2015 at 6:20 am

    How is your pump organ? I learned to play piano on an Estey piano that we bought from a neighbor. I remember wheeling it down the street to our house. The pianos were built in my hometown for a while. I was a paper doll addict when I was young. There was nothing better. I’ll bet there are still some stuck in the paper doll drawer at my parents’ house.

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