Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Move

The time has come to say good-bye to this space and embrace a new one more reflective of me. This journal that has been a place to share my existence, capture moments of our days; it has kept the memories of my last few years safe. I've shared the wonderful world that is being a Mumma with so many kindred spirits and I sincerely thank you all so very much for your fellowship and kind words. I would love if you would come and become a follower at my new space, this brown wren and share my adventure.
Much love,
Steph x

Friday, October 26, 2012

Market Day

Some final snipping and pinning. A whisker of twine and some brown paper bags. The car is loaded and I am ready for what might be my last Mathilda's Market as mon petit poppet. This marketeering gig has been such a remarkable ride. It has paid for our  fence...and my new found yarn addiction and has kept this stay home Mumma busy and rewarded.

But as I have changed, so has my aesthetic and although the Frenchy fabrics I once fell head over heels for are still beautiful and timeless they no longer speak to me as they once did.  My designs are evolving and in a bid to enter next year with a shiny new slate I am marking down everything in the hope it all goes.  Thank-you so very much for your support over the last few years. I am truly humbled by those who have purchased my wares and am so very thankful for not only the modest income you have provided me but the tremendous sense of achievement that has gone hand in hand.

So to market to market I go....

Steph x

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A New Toy

There was a time not that many sleeps ago that I thought that all wool was created equal. Gaudy balls of raspy fibres lining the fluorescent lit aisles of Big W.  Knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one...drop a stitch...poke concentration tongue out harder in a last ditch effort to save said stitch....pitch the whole lurid creation at the floor and stomp off huffily. Deflated, with nerves all prickly and raw. Scraggy, coarse yarn repelling all touch.

My former self would no doubt be intimidated by the girl I have become. Time and a whole lot of practice, tedious knitting and re-knitting, and casting the net far and wide in search of answers to my often simple minded questions has finally made the penny drop. The code is no longer fuzzy nor does it send my synapses into paralysis. The gentle, rhythmic motion now relaxes my day weary body and nourishes my soul. I have become a knitter.

I believe that all new growth after much toil should be rewarded and so a gleaming new swift and ball winder has become my very own. Those twisty skeins of yarn I so long admired yet was too scared to ask what they were and how could I possibly get them onto needles can now with an effervescent turn of the handle become perfect balls. It is also a family affair that elicits much laughter!

Pale blue pima cotton transformed ready for Mumma's needles. A wee summer vest for my blue girl I daresay. Knit one, purl one, knit one.......

Joining this wonderful community today.

Steph x

Sunday, October 21, 2012


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week."

Bijou: This bunny hops off to kindy next year. I'm so excited for her but in quiet times my heart aches.
Remy: The setting sun cast a golden glow across the room. The abstract shadows were irresistable to this little man.

Always inspired by this Mumma.

Steph x

Sunday, October 14, 2012


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week."

Bijou: All wispy haired and banana smoothie drinking....I adore this little lady.
Remy: Dropping pegs over the side of the washing trolley and watching where they land...for ages!

Joining in with this lovely soul  today.

Steph  x

P.S. Thanks for all your "blog moving" tips.....change is imminent my friends! Weeeeeee!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Flicking through an old photo album this morning I barely recognised the person who appeared before me. The string bikini clad snippet of a thing with too much sun on her shoulders and not enough cloth on her body, the dark haired girl with woven wool wrapped tightly about her throat grinning madly under the Eiffel Tower, the carefree lass toasting nothing in particular with a long flute of champers....and manicured nails.
That stiletto heeled girl has long walked off into the sunset. The wardrobe is far less full, the crinkles around the eyes have deepened and my belly now bears the scar of two heartbreakingly long and arduous labours. But time has given me clarity...and peace.
When I reached the pages filled with my man and my babies I felt at home. This chapter of my life however influenced by my past existence is my greatest work. I have changed; I have grown and am so immensely proud of inner battles I've fought...and won. There is still work to be done.
My home is my everything now and those that fill it are my world. I have wholeheartedly embraced  this role and have thrown myself into it's daily, often mundane tasks. I cook from scratch, I sew, I make do. I breastfeed and cloth nappy my smallest, I thrift, I renovate, I don't vacuum as much as I should. I knit, I grow vegetables, I still have too much sugar in my tea, I make mud pies with my babies, I smile often. I am happy.
In order to create a space that reflects the me of today I have decided to change my blog name and move to a new address. How? I don't have a clue!  I've noticed that fellow bloggers have done this so any advice would be so very appreciated.  As this blog is really a family journal of our goings on I would hate to lose any of my old posts. Treacherous territory? Or simply another step of this adventure of mine.
Steph x

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Flower Press

We live a pretty slow existence here, my babes and I. Gentle barefoot wanders in leafy places stopping to pick this, smell that. The kitchen bench is constantly littered with remnants of these times outdoors. I treasure her keen eye and quiet stance when some reptilian soul crosses out path. I adore how she really knows  plants; how they work, the names of the parts, what they are for. I smile at how he stuffs each one ever so delicately in his mouth.

But blooms dry up, petals fade and seeds that were once locked safely inside strew the floor. Ah, to stop time in this ongoing life cycle of growth. To be able to cradle the beauty of a flower forever. A snapshot of each of it's magnificent stages of development.

If only my babes would fit in the flower press.

Steph x

Sunday, October 7, 2012


"A portrait of my children once a  week, every week in 2012"

Bijou: Our regular trip to the museum never fails to capture her interest. She drinks in all that this wondrous planet has to teach her.
Remy: Bonds wondersuit, vintage blankets, cups of tea in bed. Ah Sunday!

Joining in with this lovely soul this week.

Steph x

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A New Lease on Life

Hand stitched linens; doilies and what nots. Bits and bobs of another time. I am ever inspired by their beauty, their intricacies, the firework bursts of colour.

I tuck them away in secret places only to pull them out on occasion to fold and refold, stack and sort...and generally drink in their deliciousness. I while away time pondering their former homes and how it was that they came to be part of mine.

Some are used for their intended purpose. The damask napkins mop my babes' chins, the sunny yellow pillowslip brightens my bed.

Some however, are re-invented into something new. A hand embroidered supper cloth has a new lease on life as a delicate singlet for a cherished friend's smallest. A slightly more A-line version of this one with the addition of a whimsical ruffle.

In many years will it too be found in a secret place and loved all over again. I hope so.

Inspired as always by these lovelies.

Steph x

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Her Other Space

Her desire to create is insatiable. Pens and paper are always in arms reach. Deep in the midst of imaginative play she pauses; I can almost see her synapses firing. And in an instant she is all snipping scissors, swirling colours and concentration tongue poking. She is creating.

We are eager to hand over such tools and let our kiddies plunge head first into this making world. Open slather we say and leave the paper shards that carpet our floor til the after bed time tidy up. This mess explodes like a confetti party popper but with a flick of a broom it is tamed. Paint on the other hand...

But heartened by words of famous educational theorist, Lev Vgotsky " What a child can do in cooperation today, he can do alone tomorrow." I began cultivating  another space for my girl. A painting space she could delve into independently.

A few pots of colour, a paint palette for mixing, some brushes and an old jam jar for water. A basket of paper and tiny pegs, a plaited rope hooked on wonky nails. Then the gentle yet constant reminders of what painters do, how they care for their tools, how they clean up their studio after they have finished. The modelling of each step of the process, the praise for success; repeated many times.

She now puts on her art smock, retrieves her own water and returns it to the sink when she's done, hangs her paintings up to dry, and wipes the table clean with a damp cloth. Bless. Blobs of paint still make there way underfoot, wispy hair dangles in stained water and many a page is snatched by the wind. But how far we've come.

Armed with knowledge, support and the appropriate tools, I really believe our babies will rise to almost any challenge.

Steph x

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Bijou: How I often find you; a sprinkling of crumbs around your mouth, lips pouted and head cocked in concentration, wrapped in something silky or sparkly.

Remy: My little eat anything and everything with such gusto.

Capturing little snippets of my babies' daily magic and joining in with this gorgeous soul.

Steph x

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Birdie's Bed


I have amassed  rather an abundant collection of embroidered guest towels from my delicious potters around op shops. Sorbet hued and hand sprinkled with tiny stitches of flowers and curlicues.

They lie hidden in the depths of my vintage cupboard. They wait. On a good day when the cogs of my brain glide together effortlessly I think of them in all their pastel glory. Oh what plans I have for this delicate assortment. But Birdie needs bed clothes.

Perfectly sized for her cradle only needing a snippet of vintage sheeting for backing. A pillowslip or two stuffed with fleece and a much loved crocheted cushion from the dearest of souls.

Sherbet flowers, a steaming mug of vanilla scented chai tea, simple sewing for my girl. Just the tincture I needed to cure my creating malaise.

Part of this wonderful community today.

Steph x

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Starry, starry night

The cupboard above our fridge houses her creative tools. The shelves hold paints in rainbow hues, snips of paper, patty pans, feathers and shells. The Play School play dough recipe penned in teal in my familiar scrawl is taped to the door where it can be referred to often.  Beside it,  her first ever drawing of me.

Stopping myself short today as I reached on tippie toes for something playful for my girl  I pondered our views on children's art making. In our bid to make their world full of excitement and captivation there is always colour. But oh what wonders hide in the inky places of this universe.

 My hand reached for the vivid yellow paint and wavered. It then headed east toward the white.  A contrasting black paper was inevitable. And silver. Metallic silver pigment , a shower of silver glitter and mirror like silver stars.

White swirls erupted over the jet surface. Cumulonimbus clouds billowed high in the night sky. Would there be rain? Not this night. With a gentle breeze the luminous stars were unveiled. I closed my eyes and blew a wish to the heavens. May you shine my little one.

Steph x

Monday, September 24, 2012

Their Backyard


Tucked away in a quiet surburban street is a haven for flora, for fauna...for us.  On a block just like any other flanked by main roads, a nearby shopping centre, a local school, two souls have created a wild world. Vast trees reach their woody fingertips to the sunlight. Dense green undergrowth veils busy creatures. The air is cooler, cleaner there.

One steamy afternoon many years ago my parents marked out an area at the back of our yard and began digging up the grass. Rainforest plants were lovingly homed in the idle soil and buckets of water were heaved backwards and forwards to nourish them. Many, many times. Over the years this natural land has flourished and it is a place my children and I adore.

There are always cuttings paddling their toes in jars of water waiting patiently for whiskery roots to sprout from within. There are always animals (both the alive...and the not so lucky) to discover; to investigate. There is always tea.

It is an ever evolving micro-organism breathed to life by heart and hand.

It is a sanctuary.

Steph x
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