Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Stitches & Craft Show- Melbourne

Went to the Stitches & Craft show on Friday with Stevie & my Mum. Discovered some awesome work by crochet artist Luisa De Santi.

Went a bit nuts at the Amitie Textiles stand. I live a bit of a drive from the shop so thought that a good enough excuse to stock up on some cute fabrics. None of which match each other to use in the same project which means my project to-do list just got a little longer ;) I'm thinking either a skirt or decorative tea towels for the top fabric. Stevie will probably benefit from the other designs...

A cute hoodie for Stevie from Twiglet. Such nice individual earthy designs...

And a really cool book with heaps of skirts and bags in that I want to make right now. There are probably a dozen skirts in this book that I would wear which made the $31 price illegal to pass up. I also bought a copy of Mixed Tape zine which is a great read from what I have seen so far and I'm thinking of taking up a subscription. It gives me the same pleasure reading it as I get reading other like minded crafty people's blogs, only in tactile recycled paper form. Nice.

I also met Liz from Betty Jo who's stuff looks mighty awesome and funky online but even better in real life. I saw some other people too from blog-land but shyness came across me and I did not introduce myself! Bah, silly girl!

All in all it was a good day. Hot, but good. Got loads of inspiration and if funds had've allowed it I could've spent a bucket load... but I think I spent enough!

I did forget at one stage though amidst all the excitement that I am actually a mother and need to change nappies. Sorry Stevie..!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Parenting Thoughts

It's true. I made a mini-me. Stevie is at the top, I'm in the next photo with my Great Grandmother.

My my how time is flying. It seems Stevie is doing something new everyday. Her newest thing is doing this movement with her right arm that I like to call "helicopter arm". Maybe she will be right handed? Not a molly duker like her Mum.

I am currently asking all Mum's I know why the heck they did not warn me how tough this job would be. I guess being a parent is hard to explain to someone who has never been there. Maybe that's why.

I have been through so many ups and downs. But where I am today is a good place.

I still stress out and feel completely overwhelmed at times and to be completely honest I did suffer from a bit of post natal depression. Before I had Stevie I wondered how one could suffer from depression at such an exciting time, but if parenting has taught me anything (and of course it has, it's taught me a lot) it's taught me that all preconceptions regarding parenting are going to be extremely challenged and most of the time far from how things really are.

I say I'm in a good place now, though I am still struggling. I am tired. My body hurts, I miss my art. I complain and then feel bad for being so ungrateful and not living up to my own expectations of being a "perfect" mother. One who does all she needs to do without ever whinging about it. But what is this facade we all try to put up and for who's benefit is it for anyway? Ours? For others? It doesn't help ourselves not to share with others how hard we are finding things at times. And it certainly doesn't help other Mum's when we lead them to believe we are doing just super and have it all together with a clean house and a home cooked meal on the dinner table at 6pm every night. It's our duty to other Mum's to leave our houses messy when they come over, and to share the fact that sometimes we just can't do it all and that we are not perfect human beings. Then maybe it will help them to not feel so bad when they can't keep their houses as clean as ours.

This is the hardest & most emotionally intense job I've ever had. And yes I admit, I'm a bit of a lazy person. But it's also the most rewarding. I complain, but I'm not looking for sympathy... I just don't want to pretend that everything is perfect and be all la-de-da here as that would only be telling half the story. I am happy, but I have my moments.

And so even though right now my back is aching, the little nugget is asleep in her cot & I am looking forward to holding her again when she next wakes. I am looking forward to the new milestones that the next week will bring. She is on the verge of rolling over and new sounds are gurgling out of her mouth frequently. I am excited about starting to introduce foods to her (we bought a pretty funky high chair today). Her smile is the most awesome thing in the world.

So I need to rest up and prepare myself for another day. Another day where I need to remind myself that this time will go fast so I need to enjoy the present and really enjoy Stevie as she is now. Not to care so much about a messy house- which is easier said than done. And remember that any great achievement usually takes a lot of hard work... and that I'm not alone coz there are a stack of other Mum's out there that are doing the exact same thing.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Mini Art Quilt Project

Been working on a new project and proudly sticking to my new rule of one project at a time. I've been really drawn to sewing and stitching recently so I decided my latest project would be a mini quilt. I love creating a "painting" using fabric and thread as my paints and paint brushes. I get so obsessed about methods to the point where I think about them all the time. I've been really thinking about hand sewing & how I love it when pieces of fabric are sewn together by hand to form a nice tight join with rather naive stitching. As they get sewn together, the loose folds are pressed down to a new permanent form. I don't know what it is about it, but I just love it. Like this:

I think I have finished all I want to do for the main image. Oh, except I want to knit a little mini scarf for the gal. Then the next step will be to add some batting and some quilting stitches which is such a fun part. Kind of like adding varnish to a painting.

I love love love naive hand sewing and this album cover (Joanna Newsome- The Milk Eyed Mender) has been a favourite sewing piece for me for a long time. So inspiring and probably got a lot to do with the fact that I make so many sewing projects now.

I try to make my stitching naive but while my subject matter is on the naive side I think my stitching always ends up being a little too neat for my liking. I like looking at the stitching on the back of my projects as I like the messy look it has. I wonder if could make a sewing project from the reverse side? There I go again... jumping onto ideas for a new project. Focus girl, focus.