Wednesday, 30 November 2011

A Winner and a Birthday Girl.

A year ago today, I was sitting in a waiting room, hospital gown on, filling out forms, knowing that in a few hours my little girl would be born via caesarean. It was such a strange feeling, having it arranged and filed and in line. So different to what I expected in birth.
And here we are are, a whole year later! All those decisions and nerves and anxious waiting a blur. And to replace it, a beautiful little girl who dances and scrunches up her nose to smile and tries to push her big brother over to steal his food.
And doesn't sit still for the camera any more. (Newborns are so easy to photograph, don't you think?) Trying to get a photo a year on this morning to show you all, this is what we came up with:

Not interested in her new birthday doll or looking at me. I just really want to climb down the stairs, Mum!

But I know, you don't want a million photos from a doting mother! You want to know who won! Well, let me just say first, that I was so encouraged and overwhelmed by the response to the competition and my work. Thank you so much for joining in, it makes it so fun!
Mr Random Number Generator, when asked who should win their very own one of a kind drawstring quilt, answered...

Congratulations Issabella the Cat, who won with this comment:
Issabella The Cat said...
Hmmm well back soon turned into an internet outage and then bed! I really love your colour wheel's they are really pretty :)
Your bags would be great for wool stashing too!

Issabella the Cat was my first entrant and then went to look at my store for her second comment. Good thing your internet went down or you may have been number 2 or 3! Email me with your address and I'll post it off to you! 

Ok! Thanks everyone! I'm off to make cake! xx

Monday, 28 November 2011


It's only 2 days till:

a) The end of November! (Can you believe it?) Which means you only have a little time left for your purchases from my shop to contribute to Christmas Hampers in Poland.
b) Mr Random Number Generator draws the lucky winner from comments left under the giveaway post. Go enter now to win your choice of my drawstring quilts! (and then come back so you can read...)
c) Evie's 1st birthday! And to celebrate, we're having a little pre-Christmas sale! Lots of dresses reduced!

See you Wednesday with some cake!
Jodi. x

Saturday, 26 November 2011

I am thankful...

...for mornings when I wake up before everyone else. There's a magical silence in the early morning that I don't get any other time. And the adventure of tip-toe-ing on creaky floor boards trying to make it last as long as possible.

...for moments when I forget that I want it to stop raining. I think it often just forgets to stop here in Newcastle and maybe you have to remind it to by enjoying it.

...for the things that capture my children's imagination and affection. An orange, an asthma inhaler, a car with blackboard paint on the bonnet.

...for the end of a baby's first year and the beginning of the next one. Ooh, I get giddy thinking that instead of sleep deprivation (ok, and lots of cuddles) the next will be marked with new words, new understanding, new footsteps!

...for Tim. For rearranging furniture, playing, pinning, graphic designing, mentoring, listening and then reminding me of what's important and what I really want. Wish I had enough money to hire you.

...for this. How did I get here? My first blog post was about wanting Anna Maria Horner's life. Now I want my own. I still have some tweaking to do, not with my circumstances. They will continue to change, with or without my permission. But with me. I'm thankful for learning to be kind to myself, to say no, and yes, that I can choose what light, and colour to see things in, and I can add a bit of my own.

...for you! For your kind encouragement, for relating, for your money. ;) For becoming new friends and being good old ones. I don't think I would have had the courage to tell myself I was good enough to do this if it wasn't for you!

...and to God, who walks with me. Challenging the ways I've always seen myself, the world, him. Who encourages, hopes, enjoys rather than shrugging his shoulders or shaking his head as I've always assumed.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Christmas Giveaway! Win a Drawstring Quilt!

Are you stuck for what to give the mum or baby who has everything this Christmas? Or are you crafty yourself and racking up a looong handmade gift list?

Well, this week, I'm offering the chance to win one of the drawstring quilts in my shop! And what's more, you get to choose!

Here's how to enter (leave one comment per entry, up to 3 entries per person):
a) become a fan on Facebook or follow my blog and leave a comment below letting me know (or saying that you already are).
b) go have a look in store and leave a separate comment, telling me which one you would love to win.
c) tell your friends! Let people know on Facebook, Twitter, or on your blog, and come back and tell me.

Wow! 3 chances to win! Choices will depend on what's left in store. A random number generator will pick a winner Wednesday 30th Nov (Evie's birthday!) around 11am Sydney time, just in time to post internationally for Christmas!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Colour Coded

I'm sitting in the lounge room watching Tim show Evie a music video on his phone. This week, he is Mum, housewife, chef, cleaner, manager. And I only have one hat to wear. Me. And this week, 'me' just wants to sew my little heart out for my last market of the year. It feels like a little holiday, only having my head in one place. And right now, I'm itching to get to the sewing machine, but I quickly wanted to show you a couple of drawstring quilts I finished over the weekend.
I don't usually make quilts from one designer or fabric line. So it surprised me when I started playing with 5" Children at Play squares, it didn't just naturally fit together for me. I added only a couple of extra colours which looked great when they were in a pile together but laid out, it was all too much (and not just fun scrappy, like I hoped). The orange didn't go with the red or the pink. I didn't like the yellow as much as I thought. And I wasn't sure about the white.

So I just sat there on my studio floor swapping colours around for a couple of hours, feeling completely uninspired. Then I remembered I'd seen a quilt I'd liked at Red Pepper Quilts and I checked over there to see how she had worked it. And with renewed confidence, this is what I ended up with.

I kept the orange, yellow and purple out of the first and the red and pink out of the second. It was a little learning experience for me, learning to work with less colour rather than more. And I was pretty happy with how they turned out! My favourite is definitely the second. Which one would you choose?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Big Ideas for Little People (and big people too!)

Last week in the crazy heat, we made confetti Christmas cards!

First, Hannah, Tully and I punched lots of holes in white and coloured paper.

We cut cardboard down to greeting card size,

used cookie cutters and glue to create a template for the confetti,

sprinkled the confetti in the cutter

And put it aside to dry while we went on to the next one!

And here they are! What do you think? They are a bit more 'handmade by a three yr old' that I envisaged but he did have a lot of fun making them and it's so nice to find a craft that you can leave a toddler to do on his own.

And when left to his own, this is what creative little Tully came up with. I think I'd almost prefer to receive this on Christmas Day! 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Tuesday Night.

It's Tuesday night and I'm feeling tired. Too tired to get up and turn that freshly boiled kettle into a hot cup of tea. Too tired to talk myself up or sell my wares. It's a content kind of tired. The well-earned kind. The quiet kind. Not the "Please Evie will you please go to bed so I can rest, kind." The kind that has no idea what tomorrow brings but has learnt to rest in the unknown. The kind that knows I can't do everything but rests in my own limitations.
Tim found out on the weekend that the cafe he was working at no longer has enough work for him. Here we are in unemployed land again. Where there are always more applications to write, emails to send, people to call. When one has work, one can use his free time as he chooses. But when there is no work, there is no rest.

And when there is no work, I want to launch into action. I don my super hero cape, sit at my sewing machine and nothing can stop me. I will provide for my little family. I will sell like there is a tomorrow, and we will enjoy it. And cries of boredom or hunger or attention ("Look at me Mum! I'm Firemam Sam!") will have to wait just another five minutes...or twenty. And slowly (maybe not so slowly?), we plunge into chaos. I don't have time for new teeth or high temperatures or just sitting while you tell me about your latest adventures with Lighting McQueen.
And when there is no work, we split things down the middle. Even Steven. Because you are home now. And I cooked last night. And everything needs to be negotiated and we are accountable for our time. And we ask permission to head out for a bit or sit down at the computer.

Last night, while Eve was growing one of her teeth, and Tim was out at a friend's house, I stood there in her room, rocking back and forth, cranky for the interruption to my plans for the evening. Cranky at Tim for having all the fun. Cranky at the universe because her teeth always come a week before a market. And something prompted me to stop and listen.
This is my job, I thought.
I don't know if it sounds impersonal to you, or unfeeling, calling my sad baby 'my job'. But for some reason it was incredibly significant for me.
No one else could do this right now. And all over the world there were people doing things they'd prefer not to. It's just part of life. Part of what we choose. And what is chosen for us. Cuddling Evie was the right thing to be doing, right now, for me. And that might mean I get less sleep than Tim (or others) and have less freedom to choose the course of my day, or don't get thanked or affirmed with pay or promotion. But it also comes with the blessing of that knowing, scrunched-up-nose smile in the morning or being the one to understand Tully's 3 year old language or discover with Evie the new games she can play, new words, new dance moves.
So tonight I rest, while the kids sleep. Because what else could be the right thing to do on a Tuesday night? I will turn up to market in less than two weeks with whatever I happen to have, I will plod away surely, yet interruptably at my work. I will set it aside sometimes when a very unimportant and unpaid game of soccer is called in the back yard. And other times, I will make it a priority and let them watch Sesame Street. I'll cook dinner because I like them, and sometimes peanut butter cookies because they're fun (not for dinner!). And occasionally, we'll order pizza.
And hopefully in there we'll find some kind of rhythm that allows for interruption and rest, even though the future is uncertain.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A Custom Quilt for Kate

I finished a custom drawstring quilt today. A nice tick off the list after a week without sewing. After the market last weekend, the kids have been sick and the weather hot and I haven't been able to bring myself to order the post-market chaos in my studio. But today, the weather cooled and Tim took Tully for a ride down to the beach while Evie slept and I braved the mess, tidied up and dusted off the sewing machine.

I always enjoy a custom order when the customer asks for a certain colour palette and sets me to work. Pink, red and beige are not colours I would naturally think to put together, but don't they look beautiful?!

I can't tell you how much I love this one! I might have to make a few more to put in the shop. They are just so warm! Like a good coffee with raspberry slice! Hmmm...