Charlotte with the youngest of  her two older brothers. A surprise playmate for a short while today.

caught midair

Star jumping out of the frame

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Yesterday was a really big day. Not sure if my partner was more nervous than me or the other way around. I think he might have been given he was the one going ‘under the knife’.

We’d waited a few weeks, Peter had done all the tests required and finally the day came for his stent operation. We headed off early for the Medical Centre which is over an hours drive away. An easy drive ’cause we managed to miss peak hour traffic plus finding a car park on site is not a problem and reasonably cheap. Even if it was costly, I’d pay for the convenience, though.

We literally walked in the door and Peter’s phone rang. It was the hospital saying the op had to be postponed until next Monday. There must have been an emergency. It does state in the notes that this can happen and you pray it doesn’t, but….it did. But really, just as we had arrived? Arrgghh! What a let down. There’s a lot of anticipation & angst around any sort of op but particularly one relating to the heart. (more…)

Don’t continue on if spiders freak you out.

I was pulling out some chamomile on my own which is just under our grape vines in the front garden. It grows like crazy and was looking a bit bedraggled now that the flowers are almost finished. When in full bloom it’s pretty as a picture and it grows like wildfire, so it’ll be back. The only way to get rid of the weeds that intertwine themselves with the chamomile is to rip the lot out! Ruthless, I know.

Charlotte turned up to help me and suddenly pointed to a spider right where I was about to step to pull the plants & weeds which meant I possibly could have had a reasonable sized spider crawling on me. Something like the one when I was driving in the car the other day! Insert shivers here! Peter flicked that one off me, but towards Charlotte in her car seat. Arrgghh! I managed to pull the car over and found it, flicked it out (I can’t kill things easily) and off we went.

The spider Charlotte discovered today took my breath away it’s so beautiful, so in I charged to grab my camera which is like another limb for me. I snapped a few good shots which don’t look as great when small unfortunately but you can get an idea. I’m now  looking at a book of  Australian spiders, old as the hills but well used and the book just popped open at the page displaying our spider.

It is sometimes called an Orchard spider. Deaths Head spider is another term and Bird Dung spider. I’ll go with Orchard spider thanks very much.

Wolf spider

Not long after there was a Wolf spider running about. Not quite as attractive. Okay, nowhere NEAR as  attractive and way more difficult to photograph, but I managed one shot that turned out reasonably well.

This is just a quick share today. How thrilled was I yesterday when 5 y/o Charlotte asked to do some beading?  I couldn’t get the beads & wire out quick enough. All this beading talk I’ve been doing is rubbing off.

So without further ado, I hereby present Charlotte’s necklace produced on her Daddy’s birthday 🙂 and photographed on our very scratched & marked kitchen table which doubles as the craft bench.

I love the randomness of  the beads and the simplicity of  the fastening which happened more because I didn’t have time to do anything fancy, so I showed Charlotte how to curl the ends of  the wire so they can hook around one another.

One cold, Winters day a few years ago I headed off to a place called Warburton in the Yarra Valley, Victoria with my Mum to do a beading course. Warby as it is affectionately known, has been a favourite haunt since I was a kid but it became somewhat divey for awhile, however, it has been revamped in some parts and is an extremely popular place to visit now especially on weekends.

Our course was held in a shop called ‘Circle of  Stones’ which is quite a large, open place but it had an area partitioned off with a pot belly stove burning away. Very cosy and atmospheric. There weren’t too many folks doing the course which suited me.

Before starting, Mum & I had to choose a Macaw feather, leather & beads. We were about to learn Peyote stitch. I can’t remember when but I had done a little Peyote stitch before and LOVED it.

It was such a lovely, relaxing and fun day and a really nice thing to do with my Mum. Her Macaw feather has gentle orange tones to it. It looked fabulous at the end of the day as did mine and it sits proudly on top of our book shelf. I regularly admire my handy work and it has been a constant reminder to do more! I didn’t get the stitching quite even, but practice makes perfect.

Many years ago, in the early 90’s I think it was, I did some travelling in the USA and have been back several times, but this particular visit had me spending time with a dear friend. We visited some of  his friends and they were wildlife warriors with a snowy owl in their care and some coyotes at the time. What a treat for an o/s visitor such as myself. Oh, and we slept in their teepee so we could hear the coyotes yipping in the night!

These people were also very crafty (love the double meaning of that word & tend to use it quite a bit) The piece de resistance for me was this lovely, beaded bag that I commented on so you can imagine how chuffed I was when upon leaving their company, they presented me with this very special. timeless piece of artwork.

My special 'souvenir'

I have taken great care of it over the years and it currently hangs around a lovely vase that my partner made and holds some precious crystals and stones. My love of  beadwork, at least looking at it, started back then and I’ve always wanted to learn how to do my own.

So tomorrow, I’ll show you the one and only piece of  ‘real’  beading I have done which I am rather proud of.

Because I’m wanting to learn more I’ve subscribed to Beading Daily. It’s free and will inspire me to get onto a project or two I hope.

I’m missing my crafty Mum get togethers. Our kids have a blast playing & they’re mostly old enough that we Mums can get some reasonable conversation in and I know for sure I’ll get plenty done on my craft project at the same time. It felt like a looong time for that to happen especially having a shy child.

Knitting with a child on your lap is tricky at the best of times and chatting when being interrupted constantly is also a hard one to cope with. Plus, you have to guard the words and subject matter more closely with little ears burning.

I happen to love knitting so that’s usually my project but I’m not very good at it. If I make a mistake, that’s it, I have to unravel my work if it’s going to show up too much or try and ignore it if not and that’s no mean feat for a perfectionist. lol. So I’ve decided to make scarves and do plain old garter stitch or pearl without a pattern to it.

Patterned yarn

I have a great stash of  oddments and if you have a pattern through the yarn, then it still looks pretty effective without doing any fancy work.

My latest experiment is using fairly thin yarn with thick needles but no pattern in the yarn and perhaps not ‘my’ colour to wear. All good practice, though and Charlotte might like to wear it on our snow trips when Winter arrives. I like to see results quickly and whilst I’m yakking away to my friends I certainly have achieved that. Love my wooden needles too.

My friends are amazing with their projects and they do the fanciest garments whilst talking, juggling kids, preparing food and eating! LOL. I’m looking forward to our get togethers once the holiday season is over. For some reason, we’re all tied up and don’t seem to meet during the hols.

Having said all that, I would like to start tackling some beading work this year. Crafty Grandma has fuelled my desires in this area again.

I’ve done dribs and drabs with beading over the years and love it but it will mean concentrating and not talking so much. Maybe I need to become a better listener anyway.

I thought I’d chat about  a visitor to our home in this post. About a year ago, a lovely, healthy looking cat turned up at our place. It was literally a scaredy cat ( like me on yachts) but it continued to visit. I’m pretty certain it was the main perpetrator for spraying on the back door and stinking our home out from time to time.

Anyway, to fast track forward, in more recent times the cat stopped running away at the drop of  a hat & would sit and stare me in the eye if I stayed very still. Any move toward it and off it would flee. Then one day I was outside with Charlotte and the cat was under the car. I just bent down and called it over, it came to us and the rest is history. We have a ‘new’ pet.

No matter what time of day or night I go out and I do go out to look at the stars at some very odd times, the cat seems to magically appear. Now it’s a healthy looking specimen, so I’m pretty sure someone owns it although it seems to be perpetually hungry. (more…)

Here I sit, surrounded by water and storm clouds heading our way. I can tell you, it doesn’t feel good in light of the recent catastrophic floods in Queensland and here in Victoria. There’s a fine, misty rain happening and very atmospheric, I must admit despite feeling a bit on edge.

As mentioned in my previous post Peter had to head off alone for the sailing this time, but we decided to meet him here at Lake Wellington, just out from Sale in Victoria. No, we’re not on the yacht and happy to be land lubbers today. The boat is up on its trailer now. The yacht club is our venue for this overnighter.

Our evening entertainment

Two of our friends are still here and they are wonderful Spanish guitarists, so they entertained us during our evening meal. Very pleasant & unexpected. I do love it here and our accommodation is up high, not that it seems to matter in a flood.

I’m sure we’ll be fine, but watching all the drama unfold in the past week has definitely had an effect on me. I wonder if being on the yacht is maybe the safest place to be, but it isn’t going to happen and heavy rains are not predicted.

I tend to get overly anxious with some things now that I’m a Mum. Self preservation and protective mechanisms  kicked in when I gave birth and it’s a bit of a process to let go at times.

Here I am. Back again. lol.

Recently we had five nights away on our yacht, so I thought I’d chat about that. It might sound luxurious, but I have such a love/hate (not ‘hate’ my 5 y/o would say to me) so I have a love/intense dislike of my time away on our yacht. It’s tricky because on the one hand it actually IS luxurious and on the other it’s too scary.

I’m a super, fair weather sailor,  like no wind and switch that motor on! lol. Not quite true, but almost. I’ve lived on yachts and sailed the open ocean and had some frightening experiences so when the boat heels over just the slightest in

Heeling over too much for Charlotte & me

a strong wind, I’m on edge and Charlotte just screams nowadays. How do I calm her when I don’t feel calm? If the boat heels over in a gentle breeze, I’m starting to get used to that, but how many more years will it take? I exaggerate a little.

With our last trip we were going home, no staying, no going home until I’d finally bumped my head and rummaged through bags too many times so I finally stayed firm on the decision. We did one more sail. A LOVELY one around Raymond Island on the Gippsland Lakes opposite Paynesville here in Victoria. We sailed to the back of the island and were becalmed. It was glorious. I even stripped off and had a dip and no, I won’t be posting photo’s. I will spare you the horror of that 🙂

It felt just like yachting should to me. Relaxing, lolling about, enjoying the sunshine with my Charlotte and her Daddy. It was, I must say, the most relaxed I’d felt in a long time. (more…)

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