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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

Friday, October 3, 2014

Tasmania's Tasmazia - Touring Local

Yesterday we did a bit more local touring. It had been many years since I had played at Tasmazia and the Village of Lower Crackpot.

The maze is located near Sheffield, the town known for its murals and and a little over an hours drive from my house. Located in view of the picturesque Mount Roland and an area known for its quirkyness.

The day was beautiful, sunny and slightly chilly in the shade. We had fun in the huge first maze before I had to retreat to feed the baby. Babies and big trips away from home are not so fun for the mother, there is a lot of sitting time, feeding in uninspired baby areas. We had something to eat in the cafe before heading back in so I could at least get my monies worth of entertainment. Our six year old had a ball and bounced around all day in-between the many things to see.

There is something slow and gentle about hedge mazes, a great appreciation of time spent in the growing and shaping. Tasmazia also boasts a great artistic element with the Village of Lower Crackpot houses and some of the best decorated women's toilets in Tasmania.

If you are looking to spend a few hours with fun for all ages I can defiantly recommend this attraction. I imagine it would be even better if you didn't have to sit and feed a newborn for an hour.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tulip Tourists - in my own town

With the arrival of visitors to our house to visit the new little man we have had the opportunity to go touring in our home town. 

In two weeks our little region comes alive with one of our biggest weekends. The Tulip Festival is lead by the planting out of the tulips on the  farm on top of Wynyard's Table Cape and hosted by the local council. The Tulip Festival has taken many forms over the years but has settled into being centralised in the local gardens. This year will be the first in four that I will not be manager of The Made With Love Market. I cannot wait to be free to roam the festival without the restriction.

Today we went for a drive to take a peak over the fence at the growing tulips. A lot of the flowers were already in bloom and quite often the flower heads don't make it to festival time. Our region is known for strong winds around that time of the year and the big tulip blooms get blown to pieces.

The weather was particularly Tasmanian whilst we were, windy, sunny and showering. It is invigorating to be a Tasmanian at this time of year. Isn't it funny that even though we live so close to the Cape and to the Lighthouse, we rarely visit. My little girl could not remember seeing the light house before, even though she had been there when she was younger. I must remember to tour our local region more often.

In two weeks I'll share with you a little more about the festival.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Baby Boy Quilt

When I had a little girl I was disturbed by the amount of pink involved. I feel the same way with blue and boys. I am not really into gender colours en-mass. Some blue and some pink are fine but I cannot deal with the colour washing of children.

Prior to giving birth I started making this quilt for the new baby. However due to my roundness I was unable to finish it becasue I couldn't get on the floor to iron and sandwich the layers together. I struggled with what colour to use in a quilt for a boy but was inspired by a quilt I saw in a store. It was nice to realise I didn't have to limit the new baby boys quilt to blues or greys. 

I feel like the colours in this quilt are of a 'circus' palette but obviously the colours are mainly primary tones. On one side I used a blue from spotlight and made a large cross. I blanket stitched the edges on my sewing machine (not by hand) and appliqued it on top of the white calico rather than piece it together in a traditional quilting technique (call me lazy - I don't care- it worked and didn't pucker ... thank goodness!). On the second side I used the same blue in a strip down the centre and some red and white stripe at either end that I found in my stash (probably thrifted but new). Inside the quilt sandwich is a up-cycled woolen blanket and the edges are bound in yellow.

The quilt is simple in nature and was an easy project but I feel it will perfectly compliment the grey feature wall in his newly painted room, adding a pop of well needed colour. 

I have some fabric to make some bunting and some curtains to hem and then the little man will finally have a room of his own (not that he will be down there for a while yet).

When I finished decorating the room I will make sure to give blogland a tour. What have you been making lately?