Tuesday, July 5, 2011

QUIETLY SHUT THE DOOR!!!!!! Then listen to the boys sing as loud as they can right outside!

Here we are again, in the midst of a 2 and half week school holiday. I swear I am trying to stay on top of the situation, but the cracks in my patience are already starting to appear, which is NOT a good place to be, especially when it's only day 3. 
Is this normal? Please can I have a paid job now!!

I do have a strategy. It's quite simple. 
- Go out every day, whatever the weather
- Speak quietly, wherever possible
- Stay off the wine because although it helps in the moment, the next day is much much harder to cope with
- Bake many beautiful cakes to avoid expensive coffee stops, when a skinny flat just isn't enough, especially with 2 little voices demanding banana bread
- Move as much as possible to burn off all the excess wine and beautiful cakes ;-)
- Be creative

My decision early on was not to sign Dylan up for lots of school holiday camps, mainly because we're supposed to be watching the dollars, plus, its only 2 and a half weeks. Easy Peezy, right! Play dates with friends, picnics in the park, perhaps even a day at the zoo. Lovely!! We can spend some quality time together, without the mad school rush every morning. 

EXCEPT!, as all yummy mummy's know, it's still a whole 12 hours of parental care and entertainment, usually without so much as a pee break. Added to the fact that the cupboards are bare and a trip to the yocal shops are unavoidable. Ahhhh! The nightmare appears, as does a vision of myself institutionalised because I have finally admitted to turning to 'Mummy's ickle helper' a little too often.

Here we are!!

Yesterday was a good, creative day!

We invited 5 of Dylan's friends over to our house to join in a screen printing workshop. It was lovely. We all had a great time and the children were very proud to wear their fabulous creations, which were completely designed and made by themselves, with a tiny bit of help.

Huge Thank you to 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Loving winter!

I have to admit that although I adore summer and all our beach days, winter in Sydney is still my favourite time. 

It's closer to the climate I grew up in, I don't have to face the world in an embarrassing pool of sweat, I don't have to be quite so vigilant with the sunscreen, (which can add at least half an hour to our morning schedule), and I can move around much more quickly, if I feel like it.
Ah!, winter! An excuse not go out in the evenings and snuggle up with loved ones, to drink red wine and eat soup. I'm a much happier person in winter.

I love going to the park with the boys, and walking/running, scooting, bike riding and feeding the ducks. 

I love our new pot belly fire in the back garden and baking potatoes in it. It reminds me of November the 5th. I even found some sparklers in the kitchen draw last weekend and we had a great time.
The boys also enjoyed learning how charcoal is made and even produced some lovely drawings with it, closely supervised of course.

Here's some photos that warm my heart.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

In Response to Re-Training the Mother Brain

a wonderful excerpt I found today by A.A. Milne, from The House at Pooh Corner

When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain,
and you Think of Things,
you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed 
very Thingish inside you is quite different
when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it

Learning to re-train the Mother Brain

As a creative Mum of two gorgeous, energetic boys I'm constantly torn between feelings of love and affection, and anger and frustration. The nature of Motherhood, especially to very young children, dictates that you will only ever be able to focus on one job, (usually sorting out socks), for a maximum of 4 or 5 minutes if you're lucky, before the next earth shattering disaster occurs, which you have to attend to immediately. 
Ok! ok! I know there's the amazing loving, nurturing side too, and I fully appreciate that, and wouldn't change a thing. 
However, my brain is definitely feeling much more frayed from the past 6 and half years of full time parenting than it did before,(and not just from the daily glass of wine).
So, I got to thinking about ways in which I could re-train my minuscule Mother Brain to cope with tasks that take longer than 5 minutes of concentration.
That's my answer. I have started sketching again and it feels bloody fantastic. 
All those years of full time training. 7 to be exact!!
I mean, for Fucks sake!, 7 years training in something most people learn in an evening class. Some people become doctors or lawyers or someone equally important in the same amount of time, and yet I still struggle to justify my purpose as an artist. Why!!??

So, I have been getting down to work on the job of portraits of my boys, and I've been working on a study of Dylan. The study is based around sketches and photos of him that I've taken over the past few months. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience, I hope you enjoy the result.
BTW it's far from perfect, but it's a start, just like me!!

Big hugs

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

on reflection

As the sun sets on this glorious, scorching hot summer day here in Sydney, the realisation hits. 
We have finally come to the last day of the monster that was the 7 week school holiday. A day, which at times I have felt would never arrive. Among the 49 days, we have had some amazing experiences as well as some mighty challenging ones.
Now the last day is here I'm actually feeling a little sad it's all over. Sadness that Dylan is growing so fast and moving up to the next class. Sadness that after summer comes autumn, then winter. Sadness that I don't have any plans to visit my ageing Grandparents any time soon. I miss them. 
However, through the sadness I also feel a sense of optimism. 

Today is the beginning of my new year. A chance to let go of some negative emotions I have been hanging on to for a while and think about some new ways to express those emotions in a much more positive way in the future. Remembering every day to acknowledge all our amazing creative achievements, however small. 

My first challenge is clear. I must work out a way to share the work/play/spare room. My table has been lost to Clutch Powers and his dangerous lego crocs...... I'm seriously scared!!!

Although I haven't managed to blog everyday, I have managed to keep the creative force going and we have had lots of fun along the way. Here is a very random selection, including some favourite oldies.

Monday, January 17, 2011

all quiet on the blogging front

I know, I've been very slack on keeping up with the blog this week. Just the usual business, plus not feeling the vibe to write as it doesn't come naturally to me.

Dylan had a wonderful 6th birthday party. The weather was amazing and the Scavenger Hunt went very well. All the children seemed to have a great time.

Since then, I've been giving myself a bit of a break to recharge my batteries and consider where to begin with the next projects. It feels great to have some space again with the spare room tidy and organised. I can get down to some serious art and crafting when time allows. 
I'm also on a bit of a mission take better care of my physical self, so finding time for everything will definitely be a challenge. Perhaps I'll compile an, 'Amy timetable' to be sure I fit everything into my week. 

Anyhoo! If anyone has any strategies for making time, please comment.

I have attached a couple of pics from the party and the ocean sculpture that I covered  a couple of weeks ago..

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Another day!

A weird day for me. The weather doesn't help really. My thoughts are with everyone North who may in difficulty with the floods. I feel so sad, its difficult to comprehend the devastation down here in Sydney. My heart goes out to you all. 

I'm only going to include pics of the scavenger hunt page as its Dylan's 6th birthday tomorrow and I intend to use it as a distraction for both me and the children.


Monday, January 10, 2011

The dog ate my homework

I know, it's already Monday and I've had a few dry Blogging days mainly due to overwork, heat and exhaustion. I slept a full 12 hours on Saturday night, after a fun and busy day at a party and the beach with the boys and our friends, (minus hubby, I might add).
So, a bit too much sun and child rearing alone took its toll and I fell into my bed just after the boys at 7.30pm. 

Excuses! Excuses! I hear you cry. It's not that I haven't been doing creative things, I just haven't had a chance to blog about them.

My good friend Mel reminded me that I managed to bake a batch of our favourite orange and carrot muffins before 9am on Friday. Not bad going for me. Unfortunately, as usual, they didn't last long enough to photograph, so you'll have to take my word for it.

I've also been doing more work on the Scavenger Hunt Idea for Dylan's birthday on Wednesday, which I'll photograph when its finished.

Today, however, has been my day. With Ned back at occasional care and Dylan at tennis camp, I managed to grab a couple of hours to indulge. After and hour of boot camp, (Go Boombahs), I got stuck into some therapy. Not one single chore including dinner prep got done. Liberating!!

I found this divine fabric which reminded me of giraffe skin and have been meaning to create something with it for a while. My youngest, absolutely loves giraffes. Anyway, here's what evolved. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Wow! I'm here! I actually made it to my blog before I collapse in a heap in my bed. 
A brilliant, but exhausting day at the beach with the boys and some of our very good friends. 
Now finally, I have some peace and quiet to blog.

With Dylan's 6th birthday looming next week, I've been working on a few simple games for him and his friends to play together.
An oldie, but a goodie is a Scavenger Hunt. I always loved a good scavenge as a child. It's great because you can work as a team to help find all the objects.
This is what I have so far, if anyone has any other ideas please comment.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ocean Sculpture

Before I begin, I have to own up to not finding any time in my busy Mummy schedule for being creative today. 
However, I am dedicating this post to Dylan and his friend Riva, who worked very hard for 2 hours along with a quite few other eager young artists in the warm weather, to create amazing and beautiful eco-sculptures. Sea creatures made form used plastic drinks bottles and other found items, which will be included as part of a large scale sculpture at Bondi Pavilion this week. 

All the sculptures looked amazing and put together they will have an amazing impact.

Will try harder tomorrow, will try harder tomorrow, will try harder tomorrow.
(who ever did lines as a punishment? what a waste of life)......

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

a top crop

There truly is something very satisfying about being able to go out into your garden and pick your own home grown produce. After a number of failed attempts, finally this year I have worked out a way to get tomatoes to grow and thrive in our tiny shady yard. And it looks like it will be a bumper crop too.

It is a miracle however, that any of them have survived to the ripening stage, as my 20 month old has been picking the tomatoes off the plant while still green and throwing them to the birds. Great! Dylan and I managed to convince him that it's much better to wait until they turn red because then you can eat them yourself. Our plan worked and we now go out together every day and harvest all the ripe tomatoes, some of which actually make back into the kitchen.

Today, I made passata with all the tomatoes we picked. Yum!

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Creative Mount Everest

Well, what can I say? Another Christmas is over and the craziness is slowly winding down. It was a brilliant Christmas this year. Family, good friends beautiful weather and amazing food,(Boombahs, here I come).

My homemade teepee gifts were very well received. I have attached some pictures.

Our visitors have left and my spare room will again become mine all mine. I fear however, that time may well be my enemy yet again. Still a whole month of school holidays plus a non-existant husband/father to assist with the mentalness of the 5pm feeding/bedtime routine, means it will be well past 9pm before I can get anything constructive done. 
January is starting to feel like my own personal Mt. Everest. I am preparing myself for very little time or energy for anything outside of child rearing over the next 4 weeks. 

My challenge is to post something creative everyday throughout the remainder of January as therapy for myself. That's 28 days of at least one creative pursuit per day. Can I manage it? It will be tough. Stay posted for an interesting creative journey.......