About Me

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The past two years have been all about adjusting to motherhood and finding my way through it via craft. The out pouring of this came in the form of my blog Aunty Mum. Now I'm finally finding my feet, the children are growing, I'm getting some independence and my interests are morphing . . . into cooking. Join me in exploring creativity in many forms, food, fabric, frowns and laughter.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rogan's Canvasses

Kayley's at a party this afternoon and Rogan and Janae have managed to keep themselves amused so I've managed to finish Rogan's paintings. And, I'm loving them. Because the images of the planes are so good I've decided to keep the rest very simple. By the way, the planes are actually patches for clothing. I had a difficult time figuring out how I'd get the images because I'm not truly artistic in the way of being able to paint or draw an image. Then it struck me . . . patches are funky, usually great colours, the perfect size and would be easy to attach. Hence, the finished version.

Art and Telecommunications . . .

just don't mix!

Yesterday I was working on Rogan's canvasses and had to reply to a text. I popped the phone on the window sill and got back to work. Alas, when I searched for my phone an hour later when I had to go out where did I find it? At the bottom of sink of water where I had some paint brushes soaking. Bummer!

Thankfully, not all was lost. I visited the Telecom shop this morning and managed to get an early upgrade. Now the children have a real phone to add to their toy collection and I'm enjoying my new phone. Now, note to self, do not use your phone when you're creating. (The new phone is the Sony one at the top and it's gorgeous!)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Shoe Shoes

Today Janae got a new pair of "shoe shoes" as she calls them. She has a pair of funky soccer style shoes to go with jeans etc. She has a pair of pink sneakers that light up with every step and now she has a bright red pair of gumboots. And, she loves them!

I'm sure the best part of her day was being allowed to finally race through the big puddle in the middle of the driveway. I'm also sure that the boots will be her first choice of footwear for many weeks to come.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Completed Butterflies

Perhaps I underestimated my mother and her understanding of all things creative. I've felt like I've lost my need to express anything colourful and fun since her arrival home, mostly because I've believed she just won't understand the need. Yesterday, however, she let me have a couple of hours to come and go while paint dried etc and this is the result.

It's not often that I stand back at the end of a project and smile with satisfaction. Last night I did. I love the end result of these. I must admit though, as I smiled I told myself "it's not real art", which made me feel less of a fraud. So I must find a safe haven for these until they can be secured to the wall in Kayley's new room (when a wall exists).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Beautiful Butterflies

Now that the baby is in the bathroom I've managed to create a little space for my creative self. The space is shared with makeup, hair driers, a kettle and more female paraphernalia but that's okay as it's allowed some of the flow back into my life.

Here is the start of something new. Kayley arrived home from a birthday party with three cute butterflies and I had to grab them quick before they got lost. They're going to be a triptych art project for her room. I had seen something similar with boys images (cars, trucks, trains) but these little butterflies just shouted "save me for something beautiful" so I did. Now I just need to find the boys images for Rogan's room cos the poor boy just keeps missing out.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


This is going to be difficult to see in the photograph but it's my latest work in progress. It's quite fun but very slow going. Bascially, I'm painting onto a sheet of glass on the reverse side. I'm painting a colour, letting it dry, removing those sections where another colour should go and so forth. Once this infernal rain stops I'll head down to get a bit of sand for the "textured" piece and finish it off. It looks a whole lot better when you can't see the reflections etc in it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Spring Surprises

I arrived home from the school bus pick up today and spotted this . . . our first spring flower. I just couldn't resist capturing it.

Slave Labour

This video says it all really. This is why we have kids!

6am Excitement

This morning I was greeted by a very excited girl who had finally lost her front tooth. This tooth has been hanging by a mere thread for weeks now, but being a bit of a wimp (in the kindest way) Kayley was too scared to pull it out. This morning she finally plucked up the courage.

The excitement, I'm sure, has more to do with the promise of a tooth fairy and $1 than the tooth. Last time she visited the tooth fairy left evidence with not only a little gold coin but lots of fairy dust too. I wonder if she'll leave her evidence tonight.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

And now it gets really exciting

This home of ours is coming along so quickly my head's spinning. We stopped by there today on our way to preschool and it's looking so good. I have to pat myself on the back regarding the choice of exterior colours. Admittedly, half way through the roof going on I was thinking I'd made a terrible mistake. However, now the windows are in and the bricks are going on it's starting to look a whole lot like somewhere I want to live . . . and soon.

I was round there the other day discussing where I want lights, switches etc with the electrician and I had to admit that there is very much a fun side to building. Yes, chosing colours is fun, working out who's going to sleep where is great, imagining gardens and plants is fabulous. Nothing, however, compares to standing in a building zone surrounded by 20 fit young men all working for you. Now that was fun!

Funny Mums

Aren't we, those of us who care for small children, funny in the things we're proud of! This morning, on hearing Janae singing to herself I went in to get her out of bed. She was sitting up talking to teddy and she looked up, pointed at her nappy and said "Look, poo, dirty." I was so excited. We've been trying to teach her to tell us when her nappy needs changing . . . as the first step to potty training. She's a bright we spark (yes I'm very biased) so I'm impressed with her ability to learn so quickly. Next we have to teach her to tell us when she wants to go.

It also helps that I'm starting to feel human again. I'm by no means recovered but can breath through my nose and the golf ball sized glands are slowly shrinking. I have to laugh though as late last night as I lay in bed reading Pride and Prejudice and I looked around my bed I thought of Jane Bennett and her sick bed at Netherfield Hall. I just couldn't imagine that her bed even closely resembled mine. I'm sure Jane's bed wasn't strewn with tissues, some used, some doused in eucalyptus oil; I can guarantee her bed wasn't littered with cough lollie papers, an inhaler, bottles of water and clothes discarded as temperatures rose. You see, as little as I resemble Jane Bennett there's always the hope that one day I may have all the decorum, taste and gentleness of one of Austen's greatest characters. Alas, it's not to be. Never mind, it's not so bad being me!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Amazing

That even when I'm feeling so awful I'm having flashes of creativity. Actually, I'm stealing other people's ideas. I got a magazine today about meals and parties for children (Donna Hay) and there were also some decorating ideas for children's rooms. I saw this canvas of coloured pencils that I just loved and thought immediately of Kayley. So, I got the pencils out and began snapping. I need a cleaner white background and some sharper pencils so I'll try again tomorrow, but it's coming together. Once I've got the perfect photo I'll get it printed to canvas and we're set. With only about six weeks until moving day it's all stations go with regards to ideas.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Relief of Seeing the Doctor

Having felt like death warmed up for days I've been consoling myself that it's only a head cold and I'll get better. Today, however, I decided that, even if it was just a head cold, I'd better go check with the doctor. Good choice.

It appears that, had I left it another day, I may have been spending the night attached to a hospital bed. Tonsillitis, sinus infection, ear infection, hugely swollen glands and an almost case of pneumonia. How you can almost have pneumonia I don't know. It's okay though as I'm now on drugs and will be better soon. I took Janae along as well just to check that her rumbly breathing was not something more sinister. It's not but she does have an ear infection too.

My mum is wonderful. She sent me off to bed on my return home and I stayed there sleeping all day. There's something that gives such a sense of relief when the doctor tells you you're actually sick and that you should be in bed. When I hear that I actually go to bed and sleep . . . for the first time in days. So if you're thinking of visiting, my advice would be to stay away for a couple more days yet. I'm highly contagious so it was blowing kisses to the children tonight, steering clear of my folks as much as possible. Now I'm going to vege for some seriously sad telly (The Apprentice) then back to bed with Pride and Prejudice (the book I always read when I'm ill).

Friday, August 14, 2009

Super Software

While watching the children play after school is a great time to chat with other parents and find out what they're doing creatively etc. There were no mums there yesterday so I pulled out my new cross stitch magazine for a browse. Typically as soon as I started flipping through Andrea turned up. I'm so glad she did as she informed me that she had software for turning photographs into cross stitch patterns. This was something I have always wanted to do but have never been able to find a program under $200 and could never justify spending that kind of money.

As you can see, Andrea loaned me the disc and I raced straight home to give it a go. So I put through this photograph of my winter rose. This afternoon I have searched through my enormous pile of silks to see which I already have and those that I need to get and tomorrow, while the children are off visiting their mother I'm heading to Bernina Sewing Centre to get the linen and missing colours. I can't wait to get started and am even more eager to see the finished product. I hope I can still remember how to do it.

Grandad's Home

Janae is a very happy girl to have her favourite man back from his holidays. She never wants to crawl into bed with anyone in the mornings, but she made an exception for Grandad today and she looks as happy as a sandboy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Best of Friends

It never ceases to amaze me that we can spend an afternoon struggling to get along with one another; one trantrum follows another; time-outs seem to be the norm and there's never enough time to spend with each child. However, once dinner is consumed the little angel inside each child is unleased and they're happy, vibrant, noisy and fun loving (just in time for bed).

Here are the little ones having a wrestle on the kitchen floor giggling and squealing with delight. It's such a joy when the fun hour hits our house.

Sometimes It's Feels Good to be Right

It's a gloat session today I'm afraid. While Mother was away we'd got into a great little routine: baths at around 5pm; kids could watch a bit of telly while I finalised dinner; dinner between 5.30 and six; they'd have a play in the toy box while I did dishes; stories at about 6.20 and lights out by 6.30 ish.

Nanny arrives back from the UK and tells me that 6.30 is much too early for them to go to bed. So, having learned the art of saying nothing after eight weeks with my father, I let her have her way.

Three weeks later and it seems that my routine may not have been as out of whack as nanny first thought. She's finally agreed that no matter what time they go to bed, they wake between six and six thirty and by the end of the week with a bedtime of around seven they're crabby, tired and horrible to live with. Ahhhh sometimes it does feel good to be right.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Going Herbal

Perhaps it's the onset of spring like weather, perhaps it's the weariness from feeling grumpy and tired, perhaps it's just the need to make a change. Whatever the reason I've turned a new leaf this week.

Browsing through the library is always an adventure to me as I never know exactly what I want. I'd already graduated from cheesy chick lit books to many novels of Roman and British history. Now I'm addicted to the non-fiction section. I take out books on cooking, gardening, sewing and crochet. I take out books about making curtains, covers and pillows. Yesterday I found myself in the health section (take note that our little local library only has about 20 books in the health section). So I grabbed a couple that appeared to jump off the shelves at me.

Quite some years ago when I worked for a typesetting company I worked on a book about GI Diets. It was interesting and I was even given a copy from the publisher. I've never fully read it to this day. Yesterday I grabbed another book about GI eating. With a diabetic mother it's something we, as a family, should really be doing more of. I also got a book called Fat Around The Middle. I'm already five chapters in and it's like the author is describing my body, my moods, my cycles . . . all exactly as my body behaves. I was reading all this out to my mother yesterday and she kept saying "and what can you do about it?" Well, I haven't quite got that far yet, but hope to this afternoon.

So the title of today's blog Going Herbal relates to this new leaf and to the amazing properties of herbal teas. I got a couple yesterday and had my first Chamomile and Peppermint tea last night. By 9pm I was feeling so cosily drowsy I just had to go to bed and revel in the feeling. It wasn't that exhausted 'I've been a mother all day' feeling, just a snuggly, need my book and warm bed sort. It was lovely, until I woke at 4am ready to face the world and realised I still had well over two hours to go. Strangely enough, the above book talks a lot about this occurrence. So I'll keep you posted and we'll see if I'm a fitter, happier, healthier me in a few months time.

Going Herbal

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Photographic Flower Art

Still working along this theme of a nine grid art collection I've tuned up the camera, and with all the fabulous spring flowers starting to show their glory I'm snapping happily away.

Here are some gorgeous daffodils I bought for mum today. I've already snapped a stunning rose with the icicles of winter on its petals and have an pretty pink camelia so I'm out on the hunt for six more stunning floral displays. It'll be interesting to see where this all leads.

Beach Babes

Feeling a little like I had cabin fever I decided that the sun was shining so it was a great day to head over to the Mount beach. We loaded up food and drink, all the beach toys, the children and Nanny and off we went. Brrrrrr it was the coldest sunny day in history. Alas, my imaginings of sun warming my back, the laughter of happy children and the peace to enjoy the scenery just wasn't a reality. The laughter was there sporadically. Still, was a great photo op. Rogan and Kayley got right into picking up all manner of shells for my latest art idea (imagine a pane of glass, the texture of sand,shells, dry grasses and the colours of the sea and sky). I have no idea if this project will work out but it'll be fun trying. And you must excuse my beach toy container (a Speights box) but it worked and made a great foundation for sand building.

The cold got to the adults long before the children so back into the car and around the corner to the park where a great time really was had by all. Not a dead loss at least.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Struggling to Find the Muse

It's been a difficult week as I've struggled losing my autonomy for a time. I know that once we're back in our own space it'll all come flooding back, but it's still hard almost having a grasp on it without the physical space, head space and control over my own time in which to express it.

So I need to get into town on my own to purchase some canvasses and start some evening painting again. I've got an image in mind and I want to see if I can transfer it into some sort of reality. I certainly hope so. Buying two canvasses means I should be able to just play with colours and form on the second and just see what evolves. While the weather is so beautiful at the moment it'd be great to paint during the day; alas mother just wouldn't understand the need or the action.

We do have significant progress on the house though. We have a roof almost completed. The windows are scheduled to be installed on Tuesday and the bricks are due to arrive on Wednesday. Therefore, calculating on good weather we should have a start on the interior in approximately three weeks. I know that's when it'll feel like everything's slowing down but I'll keep reminding myself that just because I can't see what's happening it's still happening.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Spring Sensations

No longer being the master of my home (now that Mum has returned from England) I find my creativity has been sapped for the time being. So, seeing such a beautiful day outside and my drooping plants inside I decided to head off early for some potting mix and came home to repot all my indoor plants.

As I was pulling root bound plant after root bound plant out of their cosy home I remembered the start of each one. About half were given to me as tiny seedlings. The others are a product of my Scottish heritage. Meaning, due to my stinginess I tend to buy tiny little plants for about $2, give them a bigger pot and just let them grow. It's amazing to see how big and healthy they get from such a tiny investment.

I don't think I've instilled the gardening spirit into Rogan and Janae yet but they had fun digging around in the old soil and Rogan finally understood why we would be mad enough to actually purchase dirt when there's plenty around anyway. Of course, they had more fun with the bucket of soapy water when I proceeded to give my car it's annual outside clean. Now they're both dry again, have full tummies and are gently snoring in their beds. I think I'm off to put something nourishing in my belly and follow suit.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Our First Visitors

We had our first visitors to the house today. I had to laugh as I served up chips and ribena in cartons knowing that this time next year when our visitors come they'll be sitting at the breakfast bar feasting on home made baking and enjoying the real home we hope to achieve.

It didn't seem to phase the kids though as they caught up with the kids nextdoor and raced around the topsoil piles in gumboots and chased the quad bike. Ahhhh, it was good to see a wee glimpse of what our future might be like. Now I truly can't wait for moving day.

Baby in the Bathroom

Seeing the daily changes to the house I realised that moving day will loom quicker than I could imagine. This got me to thinking about wee Janae and the fact that she's slept in the same room as me for over seven months now. It's time to start cutting the pseudo umbilical cord and get her comfortable sleeping away from me. Thus, I've given up my ensuite and moved her into there. It seems I needn't have worried too much; as long as there's her cot, her blanket and her teddy she knows this is the place for her to sleep. Still, it doesn't stop me feeling a little abusive and mean. And, it doesn't stop me being able to hear her snore.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Dream

So . . . the dream. Hopefully, two days later I can do it justice.

It was at a place of work and there was a man. He was tall, dark hair, peaches and cream skin, dark brown eyes framed by black lashes; eyes that you could swear would light the darkest night. And it was a relationship of ultimate love and passion all framed within the context of friendship. No physical contact, no declarations of love, no office romances: a friendship of the deepest proportions which, given the right circumstances, would be a romance to rival anything Jane Austen could trifle with.

It was a friendship that was doomed by heartbreak when he was diagnosed with a speedy terminal cancer. I was, very soon, about to lose my best friend, my deepest desire and there was nothing to be done about it.

It goes without saying that he died, and after the funeral a thank you card arrived from the family for my attendance and my flowers. In it, the card stated that it was obvious how much we cared for each other but I was always to remember . . . he was loved totally by three people. Three? After a little digging I discovered that this man, my best friend in the world, the one true love of my life had a small child and a wife. I was devastated. We had spent eight hours a day together, we'd socialised together, we'd shared our deepest secrets and yet I knew nothing of them.

Needless to say it was with tears on my face that I woke up on the boat, sun shining through the window and my brain sifting through every man I knew for some recognition of the one from my dream. I have never seen him before. I wonder where he came from.