Thursday, November 25, 2010

child of mine

i can feel you slipping away...even though you were never there.

i can feel you tearing my heart as you pull away.

no lifechanging moment of realising i had joined with someone to create another being

no precious months of being more than whole as i felt you grow

no birthing you into this world and feeling you leave/feeling you come

no holding you in my arms completely overcome by wonder and something more than love

no watching you grow too quickly to hold every moment, to sear
every second into my memory

no seeing you change and seeing you dream and shape your world with your hopes and desires.

none of this, none of this was ever there to lose.

yet all of this i feel slipping away, all of this I see leaving as I fall

onto my knees and crying out for the you that is never going to be.

(know a lot of people have seen this in various places but it seemed the right one to start with seeing it was a subject that's come up with two friends of my contributions to the creative for a second or two project, although not written in the two weeks i had the journal. this one is for you 'a' and 'b' know who you are. XXOO)

coming out...

since i posted this piece of writing earlier in the week i've received a few really lovely comments about it, and queries about where it came from - and then subsequent encouragement to 'out myself' as being the author. i decided that i shouldn't wait to see if people were liking what i was writing anyway...that's never been why i write. so there you go, owning up now!

and a small prelude to any future poetry that may find its way here: i usually write when overwhelmed or extremely confused and emotional. it's a way, for me, of working my way through things...when i write i feel like things go straight from heart and head to my hand and the paper. so it's cathartic and therapeutic but doesn't tend to necessarily make for the most uplifting of reading.

snail adventures (the sequel)

anyone who remembers my last encounter with a snail would, i suspect, have been surprised to see how i reacted to my most recent gastropod meeting. last night i came in from the vege garden with lovely armfuls of lettuce and chinese cabbage (t, this is what the mystery 'evil' plant is apparently)...and someone catching a ride on the cabbage. he happily kept munching and exploring away on the kitchen bench and didn't seem too perturbed by all the discussion, investigations and cameras in his little face. he seemed so full of personality with the waving and retracting of his antennae and his fearless wanderings in a strange place. and i was delighted to find that you can indeed hear them eating, as elizabeth tova bailey described in her book. was actually quite reluctant to let him go and entertained fantasies about my very own snail company, but couldn't bring myself to deprive him of his liberty.

(feeling a bit introspective and insular perhaps)

(and heading off on an adventure up the wall and to try and get inside the oven...not a good idea, didn't have the heart to tell him people actually eat his species)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

wise words

the invitation

'it doesn't interest me what you do for a living
i want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

it doesn't interest me how old you are.
i want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

it doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
i want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

i want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

i want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

it doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
i want to know if you can disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
if you can hear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
if you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

i want to know if you can see beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
and if you can source your own life from its presence.

i want to know if you can live with failure
yours or mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

it doesn't interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
i want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

it doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
i want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

it doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studies
i want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

i want to know if you can be alone with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.'

- oriah mountain dreamer

Monday, November 22, 2010

inner wisdom

'know that your quest for health is not in vain.

that there is a world of possibility and that the healing powers of the universe are unlimited, infinite.

know also that you are always whole, no matter the state of your health.

and know that every day you are alive you are doing what you were born to do, you are where you were meant to be.

and that the only place you ever need to be is here and now.

do not trouble yourself with concerns for the future, it will be exactly as it is meant to be.

and the most useful thing you can do to create the future you dream of is to commit fully to being where you are.

don't rush yourself.

don't judge yourself too harshly.

how hard you are working to be well is known.

everything you are struggling with is understood.

you are loved and supported always.

and everything in the the universe is conspiring to help you regain your health.'

- anon

Sunday, November 21, 2010

in persuit of perfection (yet another itty bitty dress!)

i feel like i'm finally starting to get a bit more of a handle on the itty bitty baby dress, honing the details (just made another almost identical to this to go with the bunting)...

...the last one i made i added a bit in to the straps on the pattern as i felt they were a bit too short to tie easily...

...and then this time i decided to taper the ends of the straps into points from the widest bit of the curve (really wasn't liking those small round ends to sew)...

...and i decided to stitch the bias to the front of the bodice first, followed by the skirt also to the front of the bodice (previously sewn to the bodice lining), then handstitched in the bodice lining instead. didn't take long at all and made for a much neater finish...

...also changed the seams to what i know as 'pajama seams' which look much better - and stronger...

...and i'm happy with how i'm doing the bottom hem now too.

wise words

rest, weary heart,

from all thy silent griefs and secret pain,

thy profitless regrets, and longings vain;

wisdom and love have ordered all the past,

all shall be blessedness and joy at last;

cast off the cares that have so long oppressed;

rest, sweetly rest!

-jane laurie borthwick

Friday, November 19, 2010

out and about

a medical appointment is as exciting as trips into 'the real world' get these days...and it had been more than a month since i'd even been to one of those. so yesterdays adventure had me seeing my surroundings with new eyes. fantastic light with the rain and everything looking vibrant and lush. driving along the riverside expressway and gazing at all the 'new' buildings i've never been up to going inside. feeling like a stranger in my own city.

quite taken with this old myer building just a block from the doctor - so much character.

(this last one is what it actually looks like - in case you were wondering!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

baby bunting

another baby; another baby girl...that itty bitty dress pattern is getting one serious workout at the moment.

this time though i added something a little different to the mix, something i've been wanting to try for a while. i found myself inspired by kelly of vintage mum, modern child to finally have a play around with the idea - so there was also some matching celebratory baby-warming bunting (made from the matching damask and liberty-like fabric and bits of leftover doilies from other projects). a very free-form flowing kind of sewing...

bit too much with the dress? maybe. fun though!

itty bitty dress strikes again

molly also had an early christmas present sent over last week; the - by now - almost compulsory itty bitty dress. it was a slightly punchier/funkier version than normal, to counterbalance her soft and pretty quilt (and a slightly extended version to accommodate her lovely long legs).

Saturday, November 13, 2010

drumroll please

here you go patient people (and not so patient people), will put you out of your misery now and show you what i have been building up to the last few days. i really can't believe this is actually finished - i think i'm still in shock! my first venture/adventure into the wonderful world of quilting...

made especially for a very precious little girl on the other side of the tasman, with so many blessings and hopes for a beautiful and joyous life sewn into it. i only wish i were able to deliver it in person and meet miss molly while she is still all new and teeny...i hope she can feel all the love in there.

the devil is in the detail

(studying the binding instructions - again)

(a beautifully mitred corner, if i do say so myself.
can't believe i forgot to take a close-up of the handstitched seam at the back of the binding - the whole 4 1/2 metres of it)

why not drag the suspense out a just a little more before the final reveal?

i was absolutely amazed at the amount of paraphernalia required - the walking foot, the quilters ruler and mat, the rotary cutter, the special threads. quilting pins, binding clips. not to mention selecting fabrics for the top ( i went with a couple of amy butler charm square packs from her daisy chain collection, picking out the patterns and colours i liked the best), for the sashing, the backing, the binding. and then the batting for the middle of the 'sandwich' (this one has organic cotton). for someone who has so much trouble making decisions at the best of times and is currently having trouble concentrating on more than one concept for more than a minute it was, to say the least, 'challenging'.

and then all the different bits of information and technique to absorb (bizarrely, the walking foot came with no instructions and required numerous googlings when i figured out it wasn't on correctly. while the binding clips - just like hairclips - came with a three step diagram on how to clip one onto the quilt). i would have been completely at sea without my consulting panel of 'quilting queens', who i pestered with constant and overanalytical questions about every possible detail. i'm so sure that they are just as glad as i am to know this first attempt is over!

and did i mention the issues with the sewing machines that led to a bit of a falling out between ellie and i? or the 40yr old ironing board which had to be updated when it was eventually found the be the culprit of the rust stains which appeared while ironing the sashing (these then also had to be replaced)? i really was beginning to understand why people choose to simply buy something already made...yet there is such satisfaction in seeing something come together and knowing you made it all with your own hands.

and wait until you (finally) see the finished product though - i think it was all worth it.

Friday, November 12, 2010


seems only right that i prolong the anticipation with this one...seeing as it took me literally months to make! so, here you go - a little black and white teaser before i finally unveil the finished product.

yet another cushion

did i ever mention that i have a bit of an addiction to cushions? just a slight one...i think i could happily live in a house that was pretty much furnished purely with them. this one was a belated birthday present for my grandmother - in blue, naturally. i'm sure it will fit right in to its new surroundings with every other hue of blue.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

melody beattie

unlocks the fullness of life. it turns what we have into enough, and
more. it turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to
clarity. it can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a
stranger into a friend. gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace
for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.'

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

'i will make something for you' - no 3.

what's an appropriate present you could think of to give someone who's married to a photographer? (someone who owns an art gallery to boot)

whatever it was would have be related to anything other than photography...surely? or, then again...maybe some of your handmade cards with your own photos?! in truth there was actually a little logic behind this, knowing that the recipient is moving into a new house soon, and the last thing she may want is anything else to take up room or gatecrash her new styling plans. still, did strike me as a bit ridiculous at the same time!

three down and one to go in my 'i will make something for you' series now then (since i never got five to take me up on the offer...crazy people). no 4 has me totally stumped though.

while on the subject of snails

in the last couple of months i've discovered two very special books that are simply too good not to share (although i'm tempted to buy them for all and sundry and will now be giving my 'secrets' away).

the first of these is a little gem called 'the sound of a wild snail eating' by elizabeth tova bailey. right from the moment you see the cover and the layout you're sure that this is something special. and, luckily, the words inside live up to expectations. attempting to do justice in describing this story is no easy task...i almost feel that it's something which should be left to each reader to explore as untouched. so i'll keep my explanation as brief as possible, hopefully just enough to entice you too to want to read.

put simply, it's a tale about a woman bedridden with severe ME/CFS who 'adopts' (involuntarily) a snail. it might not sound exactly riveting but is actually incredibly interesting and the writing is so beautiful you want to take it slowly - at a snail's pace? - and savour every word. each sentence is so exquisitely sculpted that it feels like a meditation to read. without dwelling overly upon her illness bailey nonetheless manages to gently shed light on just how serious ME/CFS can be.
the emphasis, however, is very much upon the snail - drawing you in to the world of another slow creature and revealing just how much we can learn by pure observation. who knew that gastropods had such fascinating lives?

when i read this the first time i was going through a particularly tough patch, back to spending most of my days in a darkened room and struggling to deal with any sensory stimulation whatsoever.
somehow as i read i felt more at peace and soothed. i would smile to myself as i delighted in another small morsel, sharing the obvious joy shining through the pages and luxuriating in the beauty of the writing. i could feel the snail working its magic on me too through bailey's words.