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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Growing Philosophy

It doesn't matter if you believe we evolved from millions of years of happy accidents or we were created from a divine being. The point is you are here. At this time, in this place you are a conscious being with thoughts, ability and good fortune. How lucky is that?

Just think how lucky you are to be in your body, aware of the present and capable of so many good things.

I believe we should grow everyday. Contribute to those around you regularly and learn. Learn from your mistakes, and we will all make many mistakes, we will all live with regret. There will be things you cannot change.

Tomorrow you could be better than today. A little at a time you will become a better person. You will valued by other people and contribute to the happiness of yourself and others. 


Don't live in the past. It is gone and cannot be changed. All you can do is start with today. Acknowledge the worst with an apology but move on. Try not to cringe at the real bad bits.

It doesn't matter if you stay at home with your kids all day, you are adding to their happiness. It doesn't matter if you work in retail, you can add to peoples happiness. Being anything but your best everyday can alter the happiness of yourself and the people you come in contact with.

Tread lightly. Tread lightly upon other peoples feelings, upon your own feelings and upon the Earth. Be nice to yourself.

Tread lightly upon those that think and live different to you. They have chosen their path and that should be good enough for you. It will not effect your life.

Forgive those that hurt you. Your childhood does not define your future. Your job does not define you. Other peoples attitudes will not define you or your future. You will define your future and I don't know of any life that was made better by giving back hurt....not yours and certainly not thiers.

Grow. Learn something new each day. Learn how to spell a word correctly, how to cook something different or  how to make something for a friend. Grow your own food and contribute to your health with organic produce, a healthy life choice and time spent reflecting with your hands in the dirt. Grow positive thoughts, it will grow your mind and reflect in your happiness.

Use the internet for good and not evil. You have a wealth of knowledge at your finger tips. Do not be a troll, do not be a small screen warrior. Your opinion will be reflected upon by others but don't enforce it on them. Your thoughts matter so make them nice ones. Anger, frustration and hate are negative states of mind that will effect your life more than those you spew it onto.

You cannot blame anyone but yourself for your state of mind. If you feel depressed then seek help. If you see someone that needs help, help them. Grow your happiness and help others grow theirs. You will not improve your life by wallowing and not seeking out your personal best. If you are not happy then how can those around you be happy in your presence. Let other people be kind to you and be kind to yourself. 

Stop looking in the mirror. Stop evaluating others. It will do no good. As an individual be proud of your differences and remember the little eyes watching you do these things. This is how they learn how to judge themselves and treat others. Grow yourself so you can grow the little ones. Grow yourself better than your parents and let the little ones grow beyond you.

Look at the other side of an opinion, situation or argument. Will it hurt? No... but it may enlighten you. It may grow you.

At this time of year it is important that we are kind to ourselves and kind to those around us. There are opportunities everyday in which to grow. Do not be someones poison today as it will only be your poison tomorrow.

Turn off the news. It will bring no good news.

Laugh. It feels good. Do it loudly, it feels better.

Spend time with people who will not compete with you but will grow you in a positive way. Speak gently to those that do not feel the same way as you. It is okay to think the way you do but remember that how you think was influenced by so many factors in your life, you do not know the factors that made others the way they are.

Be good to yourself this time of year. Look after others. How can this simple philosophy, so simple in its nature, hurt your future or the future of others. Be respectful. We are all on a journey. 

There will be trying times. I am not a serene being. I am not perfect. I know that I will reflect too closely on what others say. I will dwell on negative thoughts. I will be effected by the bad things. 

You know what? I can also grow past it. With time and patience I can be better than yesterday.

This is my philosophy. Be kind and enjoy this time of year as best you can.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Shop Rock MY Roll Online

As I am doing less markets these days I have been selling less of my lovely things. Since I am selling less of my lovely things I find the urge to make less lovely things.

Sooooo ...I finally did it. I started an online store. Previously I had tried Madeit and Etsy but I felt like I got lost in the quantity of makers out there. I found a free online store that does not limit the number of products you list or charge you the earth for putting things up for sale. Hip-Hip-Hooray!

So I give over to you MY FANCY NEW ONLINE SHOP

Please take a look and keep an eye on it as I get time to add more of my lovely things. You will even find some things I haven't had time to blog about yet. 


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Vintage Christmas

On the weekend I attended Made With Love Market Bazaar for the first and last time this year. At present I still own the market but I have had managers running it for the past 12 months. When I finished my teaching degree I knew I wanted to get a full time job teaching...which I did.. and knew I wouldn't have time to run the market for 2014. I then proceeded to get knocked up just as the contract for Made With Love was being signed. Talk about good timing. 

With the birth of my son 14 weeks ago this was the first time I had ventured 'out' alone for more than an hour. Even though the little man was bought down for a feed mid market I felt 'JUST ME' for the morning. 

I was keen to show off some of my new sewing (oh... I should blog about that) but I also wanted to set up our annual Vintage Christmas Grotto and take some lovely Christmas pictures for families. No Santa in our photos either. Lets be honest, the big guy scares the crap out of most small children. 

I am on the verge of selling the market (for reals) and this will be my last market as 'owner' but probably not as a 'stall holder'. Owning and building the market has been 4 years of ups and downs. It does seem weird to be selling it as everything is set up, equipment purchased and reputation earned. However I am burned out, doing the majority of the work by myself and it has lead me to not wanting the responsibility anymore. At the very least I now know someone else will love what was created and she will live on rather than die an unattended death.

The market was always the second step in my grand plan for creating culture in our region. The first was the development of ArtsCape and using it to provide a home for the arts in town. I feel that the first two steps have succeded. The first (ArtsCape) has been handed over successfully to the community and is now run by a very efficient committee. The second (Made with Love) is about to be handed over to new enthusuastic owners.

One provides the home, the second provides the outlet/retail and the third ...oh yes... the third step will provide the education. We are really hoping to have the third step launched later this week. I'm sure I'll rant about it soon in detail but feel free to follow along HERE for now.

I don't think there is a fourth step...well not yet anyway.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pre Summer Thoughts

Last night was the final night of being a part of Kidspot top bloggers for the year. Whilst I am very proud to have been chosen to be a part of the top 30 Personal and Parenting section I was not sure I belong there. I could not attend the Gala night as it would have been so very expensive to attend an event from our state of Tasmania and very hard with a 12 week old baby who still very much needs me in the evenings. I would have loved to go and meet other bloggers but I feel that I am very much a fraud amongst those that make blogging their lives and livelihood.

There comes this thought, again, as to why I blog. I don't really fit into the mummy blogger genre. I may express my opinion on being a mum but it's simply that, my opinion. I don't want to lecture anyone about motherhood, I am not an expert and I certainly don't get taken seriously in that field anyway. As mothers we are all trying our very best regardless of our journey and what works for me would not work for others and their individual babies. I am a little too honest about motherhood's ups and downs which often gets mistaken for hating on the journey. Lets get this clear, I don't but I also don't feel that being a mother makes me a whole person. It certainly adds to my life but is not what I am ALL about. This part of my rant is the reason why I am not very good at joining mothers forums or breastfeeding groups. I am a mother, and yes I am breast feeding successfully right now...but it is not the whole me. I am more than just a mother. I have a life beyond what I can produce with my body. All this shall pass. I will enjoy it while I am here but once that is over then what of me personally?

So do I blog here because I want to be a writer?
Hell no. I am the worst speller and grammar editor and constructor of cool, clear sentences. I struggled all through uni and constantly force myself to try to correct my mistakes prior to using spell check. My words say the things that occur within my head and possibly often don't make proper sense...just like the vomit that floats around inside my head for reals. 

I feel a fraud within this blogging world. I don't suck up to people or endorse products unless I can personally connect to those things. Whilst this makes a very bad blog to monetise I do feel that at least my blog is honest. I can't stand falseness and dishonesty. Perhaps this is why I have whittled down the list of friends I can trust and who I chose to hang out with. I'm not known for re-respecting people once that trust is gone. Life is too short to be fake.

Is my blog about my making?
I feel this is more on par with the feel of my writing and was certainly the reason I started. I like to document what I am making. I like to share what I am up to, what my interests currently are and what my family is doing. However, this also make for a terrible blog for being taken serious as a blogger. It is too random. I can't even manage to keep all my photos the same shape and size as serious bloggers know is a must for a proper blog layout. I know that my skills are capable, and possibly advanced, in many areas. I simply cannot stick to one thing. This does not bode well for those following my blog becasue of something I have done, then when I dump it for my latest obsession and not return back to that thing for another two years, I leave them hanging.

I have witnessed so many bloggers that I began with leave their blogs to die a silent death. The community has changed and I feel that I am still to find my following or my place amongst it all. I feel like my flavor of blog is not many peoples cup of tea (unless they know me personally) and I will not play the game of follower finding just for the sake of it. I would love if it happened naturally but after four years of regular blogging I very much doubt it. I think this is indicative of how this blog is for my own personal tastes which is obviously not other peoples. It also makes me very aware of my personality being, perhaps, an acquired taste outside of my blog. My perception of myself is very different to how I can be perceived. This is not something any one of us can change and life goes on. Fuck the haters. 

I also LOVE to swear. Like, really love it. It makes me feel better.

I am far from perfect. Life will go on whether I blog or not. I will continue to blog for as long as it feels right. I don't know my future. I don't know what path this blog will take in the future. I'm lucky to know what I am doing tomorrow - lets be honest. 

This I guarantee though, it won't be boring. With that - on the journey goes.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Catching Up

I've been busy blog land.
I promise it has been with good reason. I even took some photos to prove it.

I've come to some realisation that this part of life is probably the best I have ever felt and the future looks the brightest.

List of bright things:
+Two beautiful babies that are healthy and happy, who I could not be prouder of. We are getting so much more sleep than I expected and everything feels good.
+We are currently going through a property development that could potential change our lives.
+I am not worried about future work as I have a few things on my horizons.
+I have a project to complete with an old friend that could benefit our region with education in the arts.
+I have decided to change the future of the Handmade market that I developed after taking a year off and letting managers run it.
+I have been doing a splash of work for ArtsCape and doing some training of teachers at my last work place.
+I have travel on my brain and there is hopefully a big trip in the caravan next year.

I'm not a fan of vague statements but I am afraid that most of the above is of that nature. I'm afraid that all I have to say about that right now.

Do you feel like the tide has turned for you lately?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Real Tasmanians Camp In November

The November long weekend feels like the first opportunity to camp as we head into summer. Nearly every year we go to Stanley Caravan Park, nestled under the magnificent Nut and surrounded by the most quaint and historic town. Every year we come to camp here we find new things to do. The caravan park is decent and the people that run it are always friendly. Stanley is only a 40min car trip from our house and makes the most perfect short getaway.

My new thing to do this camping trip was to sit inside a caravan and feed an 8 week old baby. One thing about the location is that we have never been able to get TV reception. I took my laptop and DVD in preperation for the feeding sessions.

If you have been to Stanley then you know that it doesn't take much 'weather' for it to be a LOT of weather. The Nut and the town of Stanley jut out into the ocean away from the mainland of Tasmania and cops the weather from all sides. Last weekend we weren't to be disappointed and the weather was in fine form. The wind was incredible and all the four seasons appeared throughout the day. I lasted two nights in the caravan before I bailed and spent the last night at home with the little guy.

We don't just camp, we Glamp. Proper camping in a tent sleeping on the ground just isn't for me, especially in Tasmania. The heater in the van made the small space so cosy. The wind rocked the baby to sleep but I just couldn't take sitting inside when everyone else was having fun outside. I took the photos, above, when it was one of the brief times I got a break. However I literally could not leave the park, go into town or do anything else without risking a baby melt down in the wind.

However if you are a real Tasmanian you participate in some sort of camping on the November long weekend... becasue we are tough like that. Rain, hail or shine we try to tough it out. That doesn't mean it is always a successful trip. One Stanley trip we were flooded out in the van and had to come home, the next we got sunburnt walking up the Nut on the most glorious of days.

Things to do in Stanley if you don't have an eight week old, wind affected baby:
+Walk the Nut
+Go to the aquarium
+Go to historic Handly House and do a tour
+Eat dinner at the local seafood restaurants on the wharf
+Eat breakfast at the breakfast bars in town
+Walk along the forshore on the paved walkway
+Walk amongst one of the oldest cemeteries in Australia
+Bring your boat, cannoe or other water sporting activities
+Go fishing on the wharf
+Go down the road and visit the Liffy falls or the 'big tree'
+Day trip to Smithton, Arthur River, Marrawah, The Tarkine

This is last years post - where we did a bit of the above and has a whole heap more of the kite surfing pictures... and here is last years post about climbing the Nut.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

{lets talk} Mammories

I see those women.

You know those ones that can wear a button up shirt without gaping. The ones that can find a dress in their size where the cup of that dress doesn't naturally sit halfway up their cleavage. 

I bet those women don't look at the models posing in beautiful dresses in magazines and then reluctantly try to imagine that design bulbous with an enormous bust. I bet they have never bought a top that hung from the nipple and left them looking like a tent rather than a flowing goddess. I bet they have never been told that the bust measurement for clothing in a mail order clothes company was three sizes bigger than your currently worn size. I bet those women have never gotten up in the morning and put a bra on under their pyjamas so they didn't flip flop around in front of the visitors that slept over.

For those women on the smaller side ... I envy you.

I wasn't born with the 'waif look' of the 1990's. Even after a long and successful attempt at a weight loss program (pre-babies) with many kilos lost, I did not go down a cup size.

I have not always felt this way about my bewbs. In fact I quite liked them in high school and my early twenties. If they had just stopped growing around then I would be ever so happy.

Over the years I have had many compliments over my 'large ones'. I have been the envy of many women with my womanly curves... I have also been used as a shelve to place drinks on at the pub and my void was used to throw excess change in (oh the shame!). I find that a night on the town tends to attract unwanted attention from men over the age of 50. Are big boobs popular amongst that generation? My guess is yes and it was often a joke amongst my friends when the usual leering and drooling began as they night wore on and the men gained liquid confidence.

My dislike for my mammories began in my years of hairdressing. Finding a uniform that would fit me and my waif like associates was a battle. Photos taken for the salon adverts always seemed to inadvertently start at my widest point of my blinkers and proceed up to my (seemingly) pin head. The position of having my arms raised and slightly hunched over to cut hair for a decade and a half has given me permanent tight shoulders and back problems. I have no concept of the top part of me not being in pain. I eventually found that an osteopath and massage could ease the pain, but only when I had extra time and money to get it done.

I am a devout bra wearer. I don't like seeing people not giving their melons the proper support. I am forever grateful that my step mother took me in to get a proper bra fitting in my early years. I am not sure the confidence to do a fitting by myself would have come naturally till I was much older.
I look longingly at the pretty, and extremely cheap, bras in clothes shops. I shop at 'proper' bra shops where they charge me a morgage payment for a catapult shaped garment with wide straps, a huge back brace and only come in the colours beige, white or black... and strapless bras ...forget it.
Even in proper bra stores I have had extremes of sales people nearly fondling me in sheer pleasure of fitting me and then others with that look of fear in their eyes not knowing where to start. However the fitting person may react, a fitting is an absolute must for correct fit and proper comfort. No internet sales allowed.

At this point in my life I am a breast feeding mother of my 7 week old baby. I can thank my mounds for letting me feed my baby successfully (this time) and ripping the baby weight off two weeks after giving birth. I look down on them as my baby sucks and I am grateful (mostly), it is not easy or always painless but it is best for baby and not to mention convenient and cheap.  Looking down at the flesh  twice as big as my babies head I am increasingly concerned they will end up like a wind sock on a breathless day. I am also concerned with my baby not being able to get enough air to breath while feeding. One hand supports the baby whilst the other hand pulls the flesh away from his nose to make way for air. This is not good for tea drinking while feeding.

Breast feeding makes me feel strangely connected to this article. Now that I am older and on my second (and more successfully) fed baby I do feel more confident in whipping them out in public. My English born friend has often claimed that Australians are often more concerned with exposure than our European counterparts, I think it is something we get over as we grow older and more confident in not giving a crap.

I am not into looking like a barbie doll. I am who I am, My genetics are unchangeable, but how I long for smaller fried eggs. I was lucky enough to get a look at my generous friends rack after she had had reduction surgery. It was something I had lusted after but I was completly convinced after seeing her lovely altered pair and that it is something I will be investigating as soon as my breast feeding journey is over. 

I do worry about changing something that could be so linked into what makes up me as a person. I believe people know me as "Michelle with the huge boobs". I wonder if I would be deleting a part of my personality whilst altering a large part of my physical appearance.

I am already imagining my new look, complete with a shirt that buttons without the gap. I dream of a future in which I can go for a run without holding on to the honkers for dear life. I think about walking down the street without someone yelling ,"that's one huuuge biarch" like out of that gigolo movie (this has never happened - but it could).
I cannot wait to jump with joy and not end up with a black eye. The day is closer than yesterday and my future feels less (top) heavy. Today, it is only an aspiration and I hope that I have enough courage to seek it out. I think it could be life changing, not just in a physical sense but I believe it could be personally healing in an emotional and healthy way.

Have you ever considered changing a part of you? It's a big deal isn't it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Making Stuff

It seems I have had some creative time inbetween baby over exposure. I have been desperately trying not to let my lack of making get to me. I feel so useless when I can't make stuff, I actually had a little cry the other day after being stuck in my chair feeding for days and couldn't even get a hand free to make. It was nice to find images of things I had made and seeing that I had been creative at some point in the baby haze.


 #Baby Boys Bedroom Bunting
Rounded design rather than the traditional points. Binding ribbon the same as used on the Baby Boy Quilt. I used quilting cotton bought from spotlight on the front and some white calico on the back.
# Bob the boyfriend - Knitted Doll
Knitted from the pattern In the book "Knit your own boyfriend" by Carol Meldrum
I have little knitting skills - if I can do it then so can you. I used the basic pattern in the book and I have yet to dress him. I was thinking of giving him to the new baby so I may leave off the clothes until he is bigger and they pose less of a chocking hazard.

On instagram I found a few hash tags relating to this book but I was the first to post an actual made doll. This got me thinking - is the concept of knitting your own boyfriend more appealing than the making? Has anyone else made themselves a boyfriend? I would love to see it.

I adore the tag line on the front of the book "knit2tog4eva"
 #Graeme Dolls
In a sewing box I found all these dolls cut out and seams sewn. All that was left to do was to stuff and put them together. I found two original sized Graeme dolls - the last of their kind. I am still lamenting not being able to find the original skin fabric. It is so beautiful and textured but those are the joys of using op shopped materials. I call this forced originality.

I have been trying to put together a site to start selling my items online again. It is taking some time but I hope to have it up and running soon. These dolls will be amongst the first items I put up there.

#Mr Fox - Softie
I made this fox using a body borrowed from my Graeme and my original fox head design. I made his jacket from a blanket off cut. My daughter said he looked weird but I think that's what makes him quirky and unique.

#And may the crafting gods forgive me - I have been 'scapbooking' uggghh. 
 To be precise -  I have been organinsing photos of the kids into books with pretty papers and memorabilia...yes that sounds like scrap booking. Oh the shame.

#I got out in the garden and spent an hour pulling weeds. I got up a sweat and it felt good.

#Perhaps it's all the time I have been sitting and thinking without the ability to make but lately I have felt the need to paint again. I have some ideas I am bursting to try. I would like to explore a path I tried briefly years ago but never fully followed though. Hopefully I have something to share with you on that soon.

That felt good writing all that stuff down. I feel much more accomplished than I did at the beginning of this post.

Tell me about your making? If I cannot 'make' myself then I can manage a hand to use a devise to look up making. Please let me stalk your stuff and leave me a comment :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bloomin' tulip festival - Wynyard Tasmania

As promised I am completing a post on our towns big event the Bloomin Tulip Festival.

I would firstly like to apologise for what this post is missing. I missed taking some great photos. I missed shooting the amazing steam powered carrousel. I missed showing off the helicopter rides around our beautiful cape. I missed showing you the 'show atmosphere' and some of the amazing boutique foods and wines. I missed showing you a glimpse of the fireworks that take place at night or the bands that add to the atmosphere throughout the day. I missed showing you the many markets and exhibits taking place in various locations around town.

I am having difficulty in getting any time out of the house for long periods. I am having difficulty in getting this now 6 week old baby off my lap (and my bewb) long enough to edits posts and write coherent sentences. This post took me three days to finish. I am not joking.

Please trust me that the festival was again amazing this year. The weather was particularly nice to us and the crowds were large... so large that I do believe that the wet area and the food stalls should be tripled for the next fest. I may just have to suggest this to the local council....

Till next year you big floppy flowers xxx