Craft As Medicine


I went to visit my Gran today. She taught me how to knit… again. She taught me years ago and I did knit a few things (read: anything you can make based on a knit/purl square or rectangle, so… a scarf and a headband and a pair of fingerless gloves I think are the three things I can add to my knitting CV…ha!). A while back I thought to myself, damnit I’ve knitted before and I will bloody knit again. I watched a video on youtube, attempted a cast on, ended up in a pile of loosely tangled wool and two sticks. I threw the whole thing to the other side of the room in a tantrum and admitted to myself that that day was not going to be the day I reinvented myself as Lucy Who Knits.

Today was much better, I practised casting on with my Gran who, very patiently, let me do it over and over again in front of her for about ten minutes while she nodded and said Yes Dear when I exclaimed loudly that I could do it I could do it I could do it! Meanwhile she was knitting a square – she told me she had tried to convince the other ladies in her retirement village to all knit a square in order to make a communal blanket which they could then raffle off (to raise funds for what, I didn’t ask). She said no one was into her idea so if no one was keen by the time she finished her singular square she would give it to me to use as a face washer instead. Last time she knitted squares she and some friends yarn bombed the local library.

So this week I am determined to knit a square, I’m seeing her again in a couple of weeks and promised I would come back with something to show for her efforts with me today!

In other crafty news I’ve been making a fair few things lately. Craft is so infinitely good for my soul and every time I pick up my crochet hook or material or sewing machine (not that I pick it up, as such, but we all hear my meaning yes? Too late and too tired to delete that sentence and try again) I get into the zone. You know, the craft zone? Craft is the only thing that stops me from thinking, stressing, over analysing things. Keeping my hands busy with making is my medicine, it saves me in those moments when my head is going to burst with overwhelm, when my to-to list is off the planet or just at any time really. I cannot believe that I nearly failed Year 8 Textiles because I was too busy writing on my pencil case in whiteout and staring at pictures of Jimi Hendrix. I didn’t click with my teacher and after a bad experience with a patchwork cushion I didn’t even attempt anything remotely close to making something again until I had a baby. All those years wasted!

I digress. It’s so late and I’m ridiculously sleep deprived but now I’m here you’ll have to put up with me! Righto. Where was I? Oh yes, in the first picture above you can see a kimono I made last week. I haven’t finished any of the seams or anything like that; given it was for me I gave myself a break. Plus I wanted to wear it pronto so I used every short cut I could. Not many were needed though as this is SUCH a simple project. Google DIY kimono and you’ll find heaps of different tutorials showing you how to make it. Easy peasy!

The next picture shows a cardigan I just finished crocheting for the bebe, the pattern is this sweet yoke baby cardigan which is fairly simple to whip up as well. I’m thinking of making a few more of these for winter and for a few friends, they would make a very sweet little present. The wool I used was 8 ply but it was rather on the thin side so the 6-12mo size I have made is almost too small. I made one with a thicker 8ply when Pixie was a baby and it ended up being too thick, so I’ll have to test it again on the 12mo size and see how it comes up. It’s very cute though and I honestly can’t get enough of the veggie buttons. So glad I finally found something to use them on as I’ve been carrying them around for a while now.

Next on the make list:

+ knit a square

+ finish blanket before 2020

+ more sweet yoke cardis

+ a few skirts for upcoming kid birthdays

And with that, goodnight to you all, and to all, a good night.

Creating White Space In Life

2016-04-07 12.56.01It is so easy to get caught up in the daily grind. The washing, the meal prep, the entertainment, the shopping lists, the to-dos. Over the holidays I had a lot of time to consider my life and how each day is spent. When I had just one baby at home the days seemed long and sometimes, empty. I did whatever I wanted; the days were slow and fairly carefree, which has only been recognised in hindsight, of course.

Nowadays with school and kindergarten drop offs and pick ups, my days seem surprisingly chaotic and full, and not always in a good way. I’m finding it hard to adjust and I feel like a real wimp for saying so.

My goal this term is to try to create more down time, more white space. I have a tendency to book up every moment, to say yes to everything, to schedule things in. I’ve started writing “home” on some days on our calendar, to remind myself that in between the necessary driving and delivering of children, I (we) need time to breathe. It’s not just to make sure that dinner is on the table (my goal is to have it ready by 5pm in order to get baths and bedtimes happening at a reasonable hour for my Bird, who finds it very difficult to wind down in the evenings… some would say she’s a lot like her mama). It’s also because the poor baby isn’t in any sort of daily rhythm and she is now ten months old (today!). She has most of her sleeps in the car or the ergo or the pram and they are usually short lived, either due to necessity or just because she barely sleeps a wink (like her sister). Overnight she wakes three times at minimum and has done since she was born. It’s fair to say I’m tired, and I’m guessing she is too! Yes, there is yet another reason for us to take things down a notch.

The other day, with reckless abandon, we packed a picnic lunch, got in the car and went for a bushwalk (see picture). I am always shocked to get out there and realise this is where we live. The time spent in nature worked wonders for all of us and when we got back to the car I really felt regenerated. It was then that my decision was made to make a conscious effort to create more space simply to breathe.

Today after school drop off we came straight home. Baby P is having a sleep and miraculously it’s been 35 minutes so far (totally jinxed myself then and she literally started crying as I pressed full stop). The Pixie is home from kinder with a cough and is watching Octonauts. The breakfast dishes have been washed (thanks to a simple but super tip from my mum – to fill up the sink with hot soapy water first thing and dump all the dishes in there as you go) and today my one goal is to do a few loads of washing and hopefully write a few incredibly late thank you cards for gifts we received when Baby was born (OOPS!).

What are you all up to today? I hope you find some time for yourself, wherever you are.

In General



2016-04-04 16.11.15It’s late afternoon and the sun is streaming through my back door into the kitchen. Lentil and red kidney bean soup is being heated on the stove, fruit is being stewed to add to yoghurt and probiotics for a snuffly baby for dinner, cacao nib cookies have been cooked for school and kinder lunches, and honey ambrosia has been made to dollop on porridge in the early mornings. I’ve also got a batch of gelatine-based jelly setting in the fridge which I am hoping the big two will be happy enough to eat (it doesn’t taste quite like the jelly they get at the Nana’s houses!) The baby is playing on her mat while I busy myself in the kitchen and the older two are planting some seedlings with KB out the back. I can feel that lightness that comes with a baby becoming more independent, when they are able to entertain themselves for a while on the floor with a pile of blocks or some kitchen spoons or a rusk. The days of constant holding and cradling have, once again, come to an end. She is ten months old tomorrow.

Today I’ve been busy trying to prepare us for the school routine. School holidays have also come to an end, although the idea of school every day is one that still seems foreign to me, it’s going to take a while to get used to the monotony of it all (for many years to come).

Over the holidays we’ve baked bread, we’ve gone walking, we’ve made easter crowns, we’ve sewed, we’ve crafted, we’ve cooked, we’ve cleaned, we’ve celebrated Bird’s sixth birthday. We have done a lot of work around the house and in our garden and it feels great (I won’t mention the overflowing washing basket, the clothes unfolded or the state of our bedroom). We’ve planted out some seedlings for a (very) small Autumn harvest; we are still learning and feeling our way with the veggie patch. We’ve moved upwards, to one large apple crate and a few smaller veg crates and pots dotted with basil, strawberries, brocolli, bok choy, and beetroot. It was an Epic Fail for us with our tomatoes over summer (seriously, tomatoes and yoghurt are two things I just cannot get a handle on) but we had a few delicious rounds of crispy, sweet snow peas which made us feel better.

We reviewed our budget so that I can continue to do minimal and short term work, rather than going back to work permanently just at the moment. Oh boy, it’s tight! But with three kids it becomes both incredibly difficult to arrange childcare, and also the preciousness of this time becomes abundantly clear with each child shooting up and up and off and off. With the decision that I’ll be home longer, we’re also thinking about giving up the Pixie’s day at childcare which we have been hanging onto for dear life – our centre doesn’t even keep a waiting list any more as they are so full and in demand. When I returned to work last time it was near impossible to get the two girls in on the same day, I think I changed my working days two or three times to compensate. It’s a tough decision to let it go, as we also highly value consistency for the girls and I don’t want to chop and change, but the savings we will make as a result will surely be worth it.

Speaking of savings, these holidays we also found out we have a saver and a spender (what is done with easter eggs says a lot about a person). Friends, I’m sure you won’t need long to figure out which is Bird and which is Pixie…

My feet hurt from the last three hours spent in the kitchen. I think it’s time for a shower, some hot soup and crusty bread for dinner and an early night.

A big week awaits.

Starting a Rock Collection With Children

Starting a rock collection // gift idea for children

As a child I absolutely loved collecting rocks. I now have a nice rock collection, and still enjoy reading about, using and displaying crystals in my home. My childhood collection is still housed in an old wooden cutlery box along with a small leather suitcase. It contains mainly just your average amethysts, quartz, and so on, but also has a number of well labelled Australian rocks and a few fossils. I can’t for the life of me remember starting it or who gave it to me to begin with, I’m assuming it was my aunty who took me to a few gem and lapidary shows as a child and who also shares my love of gems and minerals.

These days most of my tumbled stones are kept in a heart-shaped wooden bowl in our lounge room. Bird and the Pixie love to play with the stones, it can keep them entertained for quite some time! There are so many things to do with a rock collection when you’re small (or big!):

+ Arrange the stones into a rainbow or colour groups

+ Try to identify the stones in a crystal guidebook

+ Look at the stones through a magnifying glass

+ Draw them

+ Arrange them into mandalas or shapes

+ Or, a favourite of the girls’: turn the stones into mums and dads and sisters and use them for role playing! Yes! This happens a lot here!

Starting a rock collection // gift idea for childrenBird is turning SIX next week (omg!) and for her birthday she has asked for some gemstones. So today I set to work setting her up with her very first collection. It’s a great and creative gift for any child, and in this world where children seem to have everything under the sun it can be a fairly inexpensive way to give a gift that will stand out from the crowd.

To get Bird started I have bought her:

+ A craft box with small open compartments (pictured)

+ A small selection of crystals

All up it cost around $40, but you could make this much cheaper by buying tumbled stones (the small, smooth stones you will often see in rows of boxes at a market stall or gem shop, usually for a dollar or two). All you have to do is arrange the crystals in the box, add a label for each crystal on a piece of cardboard and you’re done. Depending on the age of the child you could also add some information about the properties of each for them to read (from a reputable source, I like Judy Hall). I am laying Bird’s stones on some cottonwool as you can see, but this is optional. Also, don’t feel like you have to fill each compartment, I personally think it’s better to leave room for the child to add more themselves. It’s not really a collection if you don’t do any collecting… right?

Now go forth and give the kids some rocks, it’ll be a hit I promise!

If your little person already has a collection, or if you’re looking for some more resources I recommend:

+ The Crystal Bible* by Judy Hall

+ Contacting your local Gem and Lapidary Club and going along to a local show

+ Visiting your local gemstone shop (there is bound to be one!)

+ Finding out if your local library has any useful crystal books

Starting a rock collection // gift idea for children * This is an affiliate link which means I will earn a small commission if you purchase via this link. This does not influence my opinion of this book, it is one I own and refer to myself!

Perpetually Undecided


I’m sitting here eating cold toast and luke warm tea. KB has taken the two big girls to their swimming lesson and after forty-five minutes of a jiggling/breastfeeding combo I managed to get the baby to sleep. The general plan was that she would go straight to sleep when he left and then I would tidy our house, but of course, not everything in life goes to plan, right?

We were talking about this concept last weekend as we drove home from South Gippsland. The two of us, KB and I, are absolutely horrendous at making plans and sticking to decisions. Like, the very worst combination of two people put together that you could possibly imagine in the decision stakes, both of us awesomely bad at being able to decide… let’s face it, absolutely anything. We patted each other on the back in commiseration as we talked about our friends, who we have watched do grown up things like sell and move houses, get their homes painted and do their gardening, embark on study and career changes and so on.

We can’t even decide which coffee beans we like best, or where we should place a pot plant in the house (have you seen how many times they move in my instagram photos!?).

We’ve sat down so many times to try to make Life Plans, like we assume other adults do. (Do you?) Then we get so overwhelmed by all the variables we just shrug our shoulders and do nothing. We’ve had grand plans to sell our house, move to a rural area. We both have dreams of going back to study. We both have interests and hopes and wishes and things we’d like to do.

But we never rarely act.

Yes, we are severely lacking in time and resources, sure. But still, we do dream of a plan, of decisions being made. A few years ago we made our word of the year “Decision”. This is the Year Of The Decision! we would declare loudly, whenever we felt stumped. It didn’t last very long. We tried though.

So onwards and upwards we go. I hereby declare this year another Year Of The Decision. I will shout it loudly in my kitchen and can only hope it gives us courage. Maybe. Hopefully. It might?

These are the decisions that are currently doing our heads in:

+ Should we move the girls into the back room and sacrifice our back living area? (Actually we really have no choice on this one unless we want the baby in our room until she is 17 years old. So the answer is YES.)

+ If we do that, should we store our super comfy couch or should we just get rid of it? (Great couch, inherited it for free, love it, but no space to store it…)

+ Should we move house locally or should we move to the beach? (Gawd only knows.)

+ Should we paint our house white or grey? (I say white, he says grey.)

+ Should we go back to study and if so how and when? (Yes we both want to but what and how and when and who first and so on.)

+ Referring to what you thought was a completely unrelated photo above: was given this amazing collection of vintage wallpaper from the Pixie’s kindergarten teacher… only problem is, now I have to decide what to make with it all. YAWN!

There’s more but I won’t bore you with the details, just normal life stuff you know. First World Problems as many would say…

Do you deliberate or decide? Do you act or do you sit around biting your fingernails like us?

Heading Into The Weekend


I didn’t do any meal planning this week, I haven’t done a single load of washing, I haven’t folded any clothes or done anything particularly domestic (actually I did vacuum last night, only because I smashed a mug in the kitchen)… so you can imagine our state of affairs heading into the weekend! I thought better of coming home after school pick up today and instead went directly to my Aunty’s for cups of tea and chats about chooks and snakes (one spotted in her yard yesterday :/) and my other Aunty’s fabulous wedding last weekend (at THE PROM!) and sewing and foxes stealing birkenstocks from my sister’s back doorstep and other miscellany. My sister dropped past too and after I heard everyone’s delicious plans for dinner (while I had none) I came home and threw together a sweet potato frittata which is currently in the oven.

Each weekend seems to pass us by; we are determined this weekend to have a little plan in place so that we get a couple of things done around the house, but also have some time as a family, just enjoying each other.

What are you up to this weekend?

I’m Sewing Again


I haven’t felt the urge to sew or make lately. My creativity has a will of its own. It comes and goes whenever it bloody feels like it (read: never when I want it), it’s not always constant. When I want to make something or write something I WANT TO MAKE AND WRITE EVERYTHING and then it slows down again until the next burst. Is it like this for you too?

We have a family wedding this weekend and I was determined to make my own dress, partly because I am breastfeeding little Peach and I need to be able to feed her without getting naked at the wedding, partly because it was a goal of mine to make more of my own clothes this year, and partly because I have been thinking more and more about my wardrobe over the past few years. So I bought a pattern a while back and then… did nothing. I wasn’t feeling creative and I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. It has button holes which I have never done before. Then my Gran suggested press studs instead and all of a sudden I wanted to make something and I WANTED TO MAKE EVERYTHING. Unfortunately the urge came at school pick up and I immediately made the executive decision that instead of going home and preparing dinner and bathing and doing all those sensible things like the Good Mother, I was going direct to Spotlight with three children to get my material and press studs. Insert straight faced emoji here.

We moved slowly through traffic. Peach is screaming in the back seat, the girls are hungry, I’m trying to calm everyone down (don’t they get that I need to make something and I NEED TO MAKE IT NOW?!). We round the corner to Spotlight and I reassure them that we have arrived, there is no problem and we’re all ok and everything is well in the world. I look up to see a cheerful sign saying:


With a friendly arrow pointing me in the right direction. Nooooo! I rarely go to craft shops as I have a lot in my stash at home and I mainly use vintage and thrifted fabrics. I had no idea it had moved! (Apparently months prior.) I’ve been driving for half an hour, I’m so close, we have to keep going. Girls, we’ve got this. Onwards! (Can you tell I’ve been watching MKR?)

Two and a half hours later we were home. But it was all ok because I got my material and my sewing mojo!

It took me another two weeks to then print the pattern and stick it together, bit by bit in between motherly duties. I carried it around in my bag, unravelling it at people’s houses, on the floor in my kitchen, at my Gran’s, until it was done. And then, I sewed. You can see a picture of the final product here.

Once I had had enough of looking at myself in the mirror wearing an actual dress that I made myself, I just kept on sewing. The picture above is Bird in this dress, using some linen from my stash along with some floral cotton from Gran’s stash. I’m so happy with how it has turned out.

I’m pretty stoked to say that four out of five of us will be wearing handmade to the wedding this coming weekend, two out of five made by me!

What are you making at the moment?

In The Mornings

Pixie looks me in the eyes and tells me that she is not going to cry when I leave her at kindergarten. I nod solemnly and agree, she’s a big girl now. She sits at the play dough table wielding a pair of scissors, showing me proudly how she can cut the dough. I’m going to go now, I say. Just one more minute, she asks. I nod, ok, another minute. I crouch beside her, marvelling at the dough and her cutting abilities. I squeeze some in between my fingers, it’s creamy coloured, warm and soft. Give me a kiss, I ask. And another one please. She turns her face towards me and kisses me each time I ask. I remind her I’ll be back after snack time and then, I walk away.

I put my hand across Bird’s narrow back and gently guide her towards the school gate. I carry her school bag across my shoulder, the baby perched on my left hip. She tells me she doesn’t want to go to school today, the day is too long, it’s too much time to be away from me. I guide her along the narrow path, chatting cheerfully about all the fun she will have. We place her school bag in her box, her reader in the tub, we get out her drink bottle.

I lean down to kiss her goodbye and her face crumples, she clings to me, her arms latched tightly around my neck. I place the baby on the floor, kneel down and wrap my arms around her. She feels fragile, small. My hands wrap around her bones and I pull her towards me. I whisper in her ear: Shhh, it’s ok, it’s going to be ok. She sobs and my cheek is wet with her tears.

The teacher coaxes her into sitting on the mat. I promise to wait at the door for a few minutes. I do. She looks up at me every once in a while, her face distorted, anguished. She is reluctant, she searches my face for something, some way out of this.

The teacher speaks and the children put up their hands, mine included. Her eyes are red and she is hunched over, the occasional post-cry sniff and shudder. She looks at me. I’m going to go now, I mouth to her. Her faces scrunches up, a sob spurts out of her small mouth. I blow her a kiss. I walk away.

I get home and take the baby out onto the back deck. I stand holding her at the edge, looking for birds, making twittering sounds. She responds with coos and ahhs as she peers out into the distance, everything new, everything wondrous. I take her to the bedroom and slowly peel off her knitted cardigan and replace it with her sleeping bag. I hold her and her soft bunny close and sing Here Is The Sea.

Here is the sea,

The wavy sea,


Is a boat,

And here,




Little fish,


Down below,

Wiggle their tails,

And away,



Her eyes close gently as I sway back and forth. One of the floorboards creaks beneath my feet as my weight shifts. I slowly lower her into the cot and she cries. I pat her chest and continue to sing. I walk away and stand in the kitchen listening to her cries. She’s calling for me. I go back into the bedroom and pick her up, holding her close, my cheek against hers and I sing and I sway. This time, once her eyes close I continue to sing for a few minutes, swaying gently to the rhythms of my soft melody, looking at her eyes rolling beneath her eyelids, breathing her in, rubbing my lips against the downy softness of her hair.

I lower her into the cot and place a blanket over her. I walk away.

In the kitchen I touch my palm to the red kettle on our stovetop. It’s warm. There is ground coffee scattered on the bench, bowls of half eaten porridge, school notices, milk, vitamin c. Memories of the morning rush.

I reboil the kettle and move slowly through the ritual of making a pot of tea. Spooning tea leaves into my silver pot. Waiting for the whistle of the kettle. Pouring steaming water and watching the leaves swirl through the rush of water. Placing the lid on the teapot. Pouring milk into a small jug. Gathering a teacup, a strainer, a board to place it all on.

I carry the tea over to a small teak coffee table and place the board down first. The little table belonged to my Nana, I try to take good care of it.

I sit down in an armchair made by my Poppa to pour myself a cup. The song mills around in my head, my three daughters the little fish, me in the boat watching as they wiggle their tails and swim away.

Only some days it feels as though we aren’t quite ready to be apart.

Marooned On Motherhood Island

It has been almost a week since I saw the light of day, felt the air cool my skin, turned my face to the sky, spoke to another human.*

I became a School Mum last week. It lasted for one day before Bird came to me crying with a swollen eye and a fever and she has been on the couch with a horrible case of viral conjunctivitis ever since.

She has missed her first week of Prep and she and I are feeling a little heart broken.

So what else to do but declare the house an official Quarantine Station and listen to Justin Bieber (newly discovered I might add thanks to my baby sister who will be rolling her eyes reading this) and dance around the house and build towers with breast pad boxes and bring out old crochet projects and drink coffee and bake cakes and cry a little when the children are asleep and dream of living on the tip of a snowy mountain like Elsa and play peek-a-boo with the baby and wander from one end of the house to another every now and then and rearrange pot plants and douse everyone in dettol at five minute intervals? And then turn the telly on at 9.30am only to find they are playing Home and Away from the early 90s and you know all the characters and the plot and then it finishes and you mime along to the credits (because you have a sleeping baby in your arms) with great passion and exuberance? And then instead of doing the dishes and picking up the toys from the floor you make another coffee instead? And instead of dressing the children declare that the Quarantine Station has a pyjama only policy? And suddenly actually become afraid of leaving the house and going back to normal life and decide that this is the new normal and perhaps you should just stay here forever drinking coffee and eating cake and watching Home and Away reruns?


So her eye is clearing up and her fever has settled and I’m crossing my fingers and toes she will make it back to school tomorrow or Friday with any luck. It has honestly cracked my motherly heart having to answer her questions about what the kids are doing at school, and when she can go back, and why has this happened to her! Perhaps she has inherited my dramatic tendencies. Sorry little love.

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful week and your kidlets have gone well starting new pursuits, if any were on the horizon.

*Possibility of slight exaggeration. 

On Our Dinner Table This Week


Another week, another meal plan… I have found that this is what works best for me. There is nothing less motivating than getting to 4pm not knowing what we are having for dinner, and trying to throw something together from the scraps in the pantry. Meal planning, for me, is essential to ensure the quality of what we eat. Some sad news this week is the price of avocados!? Someone told me this morning that there is a shortage and that the reason for the price hike… so we are unfortunately taking avos off the menu for the time being. Wah!

I usually find planning about five dinners for the seven day week works well, there are usually leftovers at some point and overflow. I used to plan for seven but would usually only end up making four or five of the dinners so I’ve changed my method to account for this.

This week I’m aiming for something like this:

// breakfasts //

porridge + yoghurt + almond milk + fruit

pancakes + fruit + yoghurt

eggs + veggies (for anyone who will eat them at this time of day… in other words probably only me)

// lunches //

winging it: see note below

// dinners //

salmon + veg

peanut brown rice patties + kale-slaw + salad (recipes from here)

steak + salad

lentil bolognese

something to do with silken tofu as I have some in the freezer (ideas?)


// snacks //

bliss balls

chocolate “paddlepops” (also from here)


banana bread

// the baby //

The baby is now have quinoa and brown rice (milled some brown rice into rice flour and made my own baby rice cereal). I haven’t bought any other grains yet, maybe some amaranth or millet could be next on the list. She also had a suck on a bone the other day and cried her little heart out when I took it away from her!

brown rice (or other new grain) + zucchini + coconut oil

brown rice (or other new grain) + dried fig stew

chicken stew

steamed veggie/fruit mashes

I should own up here and let you know that my millionth attempt at making my own yoghurt has once again come to a dismal end and I have yet another kilogram of milky liquid to do something with… any suggestions? I am the worst yoghurt maker ever and have not once had success. Where am I going wrong!? Another confession is that this time I actually used one of the automated recipes on my thermomix… WHO FAILS AN AUTOMATED RECIPE!?

This meal planner is also subject to change this week as I’ve borrowed a thousand recipe books from the library (I put books on hold and it’s always my luck that they arrive all at the same time). So I have these recipe books to dive into this week: Simplicious, The Green Kitchen, Plenty, and Leon: Fast Vegetarian.

The other thing that is happening this week… Bird is starting school on Thursday. OMG. School Mum alert. So I’ll be winging it this week with lunches but next week when she’s going four days I may have to plan a bit more seriously.

What are you eating this week?

Over and out. xx

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