Saturday, 18 October 2008

Lesson 101: How to be a dork

When I was younger and much less wise I knew 3 things to be true.

1. I would never marry again.
2. I would never, never live in the USA
3. I would never, never, never have children.

This was all said while living in Canada, happily getting liquored but sadly getting divorced. Of course as experience often teaches us I knew not. Less than 3 years after uttering those words I was on my way to live in the big old US of A, knocked up and about to be married to my gorgeous American and more happy than one has a right to be.

Now because on my way to wisdom sometimes I need to relearn old lessons (again and again it seems but that is for another post......). I may have been heard to say that I would never knit doll's clothes or god forbid fake food. I may have even openly mocked those who do. Maybe.

You know the biggest problem with kids? It is not the time or the expense or the mess or the smell. Honestly, you deal with that stuff. It is the inescapable fact you love these damn critters so much you find yourself doing the things you never thought you would. Not only do you find yourself singing out loud (badly) at the supermarket, you find yourself making fake food and doll clothes.

You find yourself sitting up at night crackling with delight of it all and working as late as you need so you can leave another piece for your kid to come racing out and find in the morning. (You find yourself agreeing to purple ribbon but again another post........)

You worry about providing a balanced fake food diet after noticing your tenacity runs to a fake junk food diet.

You worry what it says about you as a mother that your 5 year old is offering up cupcake sandwiches to your guests.

You get right on making sure she has a good selection of fruit and veggies so she can get her "5 a day".

You swell with pride when she asks for some fake tofu and sushi.

Damn kids, consider yourself warned.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Ahh the best of intentions......

Where did the time go one asks?

What happened to all those blog posts I promised the one or two readers I must have left?

I did start many posts in my mind. Honest. While out in the garden getting ready for my over achieving summer of veggies. While with my arms deep in bread or cracker dough. While crafting with my kids. While avoiding looking for my summer part-time job by cooking up another pot of dried beans and stretching that food budget a little more. While trying to find the missing bees. You see life kept getting in the way. It is spring here and spring is never better indoors in front of a computer.

But as promised those fabulous bloomers.

My daughter's favourite thing in the whole wide world. (And now, Mum, Mum listen, now I want a pair in every single colour but especially purple because purple is the best colour in the whole world. Cause Mum these are dancing pants, these pants make me dance and twirl and laugh and sing.)

They actually are that cool.

Oh yeah, I am back, home in Dunedin that is.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Snowbirds, bloomers and faux food...........

3 months without posting, what the bloody hell?

Well chickadee what if I told you I have become a snowbird would you forgive me? A snowbird squeezing into a library queue with all of the pimply faced teenagers waiting to get on to facebook. A snowbird finally with regular access to a computer, a computer that is about 15 years old with dial up access. Forgive me now?

So has it's place, it can be fun, you know like when you don't have to work and you can sit inside by a roaring fun, knitting and growing a big bum while drinking hot choccie and eating buttered raisin toast. Mmmmmm raisin toast..........

But after one winter in Dunedin I knew there had to be a better way (dark, damp and deary- sorry Dunedin readers - I still love it come the long days of summer). You see because I am a drop out bum now and I am married to a drop out bum there was no reason not to run away from winter and end up in say........... subtropical Australia. (First choice was the beaches of Thailand but since we couldn't trade painting for an airline ticket to that one well maybe next winter.........). So here we are in Brisbane, housesitting and doing odd jobs to keep food in the belly. Life is spent exploring all that is free and good in Brisbane; libraries, museums, beaches and parks. Life is 23 degrees Celsius, sunny and warm. Life is homeschooling and lots of family time on the road. Life is remembering why I choose not to live in the same city (hell same country) as my family (love them but....). Life is choosing how we are going to live and then living it. Life is good.

Next time is bloomers and faux food once I figure how I can get photos on this piece of ancient history. Wish me luck.

(BTW, it is great to be back)

Monday, 14 April 2008

Closing the circle.............

I have cast on for a pair of socks.

A pair of socks that mean a great deal to me.

My great grandmother was a knitter. She was a crafter. She was from a well-to-do family, with a well-to-do marriage. At least until disaster struck and she was left penniless with five kids. She took her crafting skills and made a living from her hands. She designed and hand knit baby items for an upmarket department store. But of all she did her hand knit socks were most legendary. My Grandpa, her son in law, spoke of them in reverent tones. My Grandpa is gone now but her daughter at 93 is still alive and well. And now her great-granddaughter is going to close the circle and put socks back onto the feet of the ones she loves.

These socks are for my grandma. A business woman who had no talent for the domestic arts but still honours their value. It pleases her no end to finally see one of her kin following in her beloved mother's footsteps, using my hands and heart to create.

I am knitting the wavy socks from the mighty The Knitters Book of Yarn. I needed a pattern with a little fun but no annoying holes to snag fingers on when your eyes are no longer so great. The yarn is lovely and squishy (and local). The colour - delightful.

Yep, I am liking them.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

The Gift.

My sister is pregnant with baby number one. This has been a hard won baby and although it shouldn't somehow that makes it all that more special.

Her whole house is white; all the walls, furniture, soft furnishings (I know just perfect for a kid, they will learn.....) and she is quite traditional in her tastes.

I have been thinking about this baby gift a lot.

I have been thinking about making a highly detailed lace circular shawl in an undyed merino silk. She lives in the tropics (in Australia, no tropics in NZ) so it wouldn't get much use but I figure it can be pulled out for the photos and live the rest of the time artistically draped across the back of the white rocking chair in the white nursery. I think it is important to welcome new people into this world with a bang.

We are also until recently a family of throw-it-away-ers and have missed the whole pass-down-a-heirloom thing. Maybe if it works out this could be a heirloom for little "Wally" or "Betty" (don't panic just trying it on for size, no?). Is it right to give a gift with that type of expectation? Could I ever forgive her if she gave this one away too? Should I include a return to sender in the parcel? Would a gift certificate be better?

Monday, 3 March 2008

Can you pick out the crafter's kid?

There is my kid in a sea of pink; being different, being comfortable, being a kid, being Taia.

Sometimes being a crafty mama has it's perks. It allows you to stand in the middle of a department store, surrounded all the barbie pink little princess dance costumes and say "not my kid, no way, no how". It allows me to laugh in the face of the ridiculous price tag made complete with a little slave labour and awful lot of advertising. It allows me to go home and pull an unworn t-shirt from my wardrobe and with some scissors, a little time, a sewing machine and a willing model sew some originality.

So I say "the bird" to you corporate world, start allowing my little girl some choice and originality in your stores, stop telling her what is feminine and attractive and I may return but until then we don't need you..........and can put your dance costumes where the sun doesn't shine.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

A belated valentine's.......

........if you celebrate such things, which we don't, except with heart shaped pikelets (little sweet pancakes) and homemade apricot and plum jam.

Making jam makes me feel clever and when I have all of the jars lined up filled with a year's worth of jam, well I just feel like inviting all I know so they can marvel at their jewel-like beauty and we can have a jam party. Try it, do it with a mate or friend, drink lots of wine and then I'll come for a jam party at your house, I will be suitably impressed, promise.
I'll make the pikelets because as my son says, "you make the best pikelets; it is so cool how you can get it all burnt and crispy on the outside and still gooey and uncooked in the middle, I love that". And no I'm not sharing, it is a family secret that recipe.