Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dear Me...

Image found at We Heart It

If you were to write a letter to your 16 year old self, what would you say?

This was the first sentence I read in a book that caught my eye in a bookstore a little while ago.  It was a collection of letters by famous people - not to family or friends - but to themselves at the age of 16. 
I thought that it was such an interesting idea; and, after reading a bit, thought the things that they told themselves were absolutely priceless! One said not to bother with diets; another warned of the dangers of the partying lifestyle; another advised themselves not to hate the world, or parents; and yet another (famous entertainer) told their younger self to listen to their mother and keep taking piano lessons.  And it’s been something that I have thought about ever since. 

Here's what I'd say to a 16 year old me:

Dear past Kim,

Life can be really hard but it will get better.
I know you don’t have any idea what you want to do with your life but just follow the things that make you happy.
Treasure all the time you spend with your family – especially your grandmother.
You will make a friend who you can tell all your secrets to, and it will be a friendship to keep all your days.
Don’t let yourself get too busy - take the time to laugh and enjoy all those funny little moments.
Learn to live past your regrets.
Food is not your enemy – just eat all things in moderation (except dairy – dairy might be you enemy)
Your mum is making lots of sacrifices for you – remember to be thankful and not take those things for granted.
Someday soon you and your sister will be really good friends – it’s lovely.
Being a tomboy is alright, but it’s ok to pierce your ears and wear dresses too.
Suspenders will give you a wedgie – I know you think they’re cool but they’re actually uncomfortable.  Don’t go there!
And finally, you’re a good kid – don’t be so hard on yourself!

Love, future Kim

What would you say to your younger self, having the privilege of hindsight and life experience?


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Point and Shoot: A Wonderfully Warm Weekend

I’ve just had one of those weekends where all things were lovely – you know the ones?

It started with a new stash of the most gorgeous fabric from our delicious local quilting shop, and the sweetest project for a dear friend expecting her first baby…

...A Saturday morning beach play with the kids; finding beautiful curled shells, smooth and sleek, carved away by the power of the sea. Keeping all the odd shaped ones our toddlers pulled from the waves, and promising to make a treasures chest to keep them all in; feeling the strength of the wind in our hair, watching locals fly their kites, and happy, sleepy poppets all the way home.

And, joy of joys! The discovery of random rouge pumpkins - two growing/hanging in a tree, another sneakily hidden in the long grass, and two only just beginning…

Sunday morning papers, coffee and sunshine through the trees; the kids exploring and getting dirty in the backyard, riding bikes and playing newly made-up games...

Don’t you just love weekends? What did you get up to?


Ps. To find out more about Point and Shoot and its lovely creator, go here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

What are you thankful for today?

We have so much to be grateful for.

I’ve been following the lovely Maxabella for a little while now, and I love her Grateful Saturdays – it always makes me reflect on all the wonderful things in my own life, and helps me to see how I can be a greater blessing in the lives of others.

And because it’s always nicer to focus on the best and brightest bits of our lives, I thought we’d start playing along too.

So today, I’m grateful for:

1. Yellow Roses. They were my darling grandmothers’ favourite flower, and I can’t help but think and remember her whenever I see them. She was truly one of the most beautiful, kind-hearted, gentle-spirited people I’ve ever known, and seeing fresh cut yellow roses in my home reminds me of her, and the things she held dearest – faith, family and love.

2. Lists. I’m a compulsive list maker. I love the orderly-ness of a long list, and the feeling of accomplishment when lots of small things are consistently crossed off. Because I often agree to do too many things and love to procrastinate, lists help me stay organised, focused and on-task. And, if I manage to get through a whole list in one day, there’s always a delicious reward!

3.  A quiet cup of tea. With two very active, loud toddlers constantly on the go, I love the stillness of nap-time, a dainty cup of strong loose-leaf tea, and an opportunity to collect my thoughts.

What are you grateful for today?

Ps. Want to join in too? Grateful is being hosted today by the wonderful MultipleMum at And then there were four (Or you can leave your grateful list below in the comments section).


Monday, March 21, 2011

1,000 Cranes = 1 wish

I loved the story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes as a child.
For those who don’t know it, it is the devastating and heartbreaking tale of Sadako Sasaki, who was just two years old when the atomic bomb was dropped near her home in Hiroshima, Japan.  At 12 years old, she was diagnosed with leukaemia, and given a year to live. But an ancient Japanese story, narrated to her by her best friend Chizuko, gives her hope: A promise that whoever should fold 1,000 origami paper cranes would be granted one wish by a crane.
Sadly, Sadako never reached her goal, dying within eight months of diagnosis, with still more than 300 cranes still to fold; but the simplicity and beauty of her story has become a symbol for hope for thousands all over the world.

Today, I found New Zealand blogger and Mum, Maddie, from Lil Magoolie, who has a mission on her hands – to make 2,000 origami cranes for two healing wishes: one for a shaken Christchurch, and one for a devastated Japan.
I’ve been watching as our world is turned upside down, my heart breaking for our brothers and sisters across the sea. I believe in the childlike magic of wishes, and in the power of prayers for healing and restoration. And I can make paper cranes.

So today, I’m folding cranes to contribute towards Maddie’s grand total. The kids have been helping by drawing all kinds of things this morning, and I'm folding up their stories and scribbles (for lack of ornate origami paper).

 Will you help too?


Ps. Don’t know how to make a crane? You’ll find a link to an origami tutorial here.
Please send your handmade cranes to:

1000 Cranes / One wish
c/o 3C Design
14 Marion Street
Hoon Hay  Christchurch  8025
New Zealand

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Point and Shoot: Our blooming kitchen garden

Our kitchen garden is all in bloom at the moment – I’m excited to be finding new growth daily, and so glad that all our hard work is starting to show signs of a harvest…

Our wild cherry tomato bush is budding with new fruits and sweet yellow flowers…

The strawberries are beginning to flower and ripen…

...and the gourmet beefsteak tomatoes are starting to get a rosy blush to their skin!

All our herbs are flourishing, and I’ve been using/experimenting with them in my cooking…

...and our fruiting trees are laden with goodness (thanks to a previous owner who had a taste for the exotic). But the best thing about our garden today? After nearly 20 metres of pesky vines, dozens of sunny flowers, and by allowing a total freedom in direction, I found two baby pumpkins this morning - one hiding under leaves near the fence, and another 10 metres away, hanging from an out-of-control bougainvillea (I may have squealed with delight)!

What did you do this weekend?


Ps. Want to play Point and Shoot too? Find out more here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I'll remember you...

Make loving memories wherever you can - That’s what I think every time I look into the sweet little faces of my niece Lou and nephew Judah.  Often, all Lou says to me is ‘no,’ and  I’ll watch Judah bite his lower lip when he’s about to crash tackle me out of frustration, but it’s all those little things and a million more that I don’t want to ever forget. 

It’s also one of the reasons why I started a memory book – so that all those quirky things they do wouldn’t be lost in the daily hustle and bustle of our lives; so that we’ll be able to look back in the years to come and remember the funny little people they once were.

The old cliché of ‘time flying’ really is true. After Lou came along, I began to see how many funny, heart-warming little moments with Judah I’d already forgotten; so, to make amends, every time I saw them, I began to write down short anecdotes – something that made my heart melt, something silly we’d had a conversation about, or something that made us all laugh out loud. It’s a record of the memory, of the day, of their age and their very distinctive personalities, and a way to keep it all close to my heart.

(Like this: I remember the day I held Judah in my arms for the first time; I was stunned firstly that he was a boy (as we had all convinced ourselves that a little girl was on her way), and then completely amazed that this little person had in an instant become such a huge part of my life - and I knew absolutely nothing about him yet)

These two little souls (and hopefully some more in the future) have taught me how important it is that we smile, giggle, and love each other, growing closer all the time - and my little memory book helps me document that journey.

How do you remember and celebrate family?  


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Sentimental Relatives

I love the art of collecting, don’t you?
I’m a bit of a fair-weather collector, only adding to the pile once every few months; but I love that thrill of discovery, of finding something that perhaps no one else has seen in decades.   

I collect old portraits, both posed and informal, from the turn of the century. I have quite a sentimental reason in doing so – as daft as it sounds, I often feel bad that their images have been left behind, whether through a deceased estate, or by distant relatives who have no idea who they are, and who then pass them on to antique stores with other semi-precious things. They sit in dusty boxes, hundreds crammed together, without a place to belong. So, I find out the portraits that are hidden amongst hundreds of others, the small one of a freckled-faced girl or a faded mother and child, and add them to my box of sentimental relatives.

Old photographs definitely have their own breed of charm. I love the posed sepia toned family portraits, the children (especially little boys) donned in ribbons, lace and buttoned leather shoes; the stern, wide-eyed faces of bearded men, sitting straight-backed in fancy parlours; and the daguerreotype miniatures of black clad bonneted grandmothers, curled, ribboned, and often stony-faced. I imagine that I can see hope on the faces of the young couples - the stylish young women standing at a noticeable distance from their formally seated husbands.

The photographs I save speak to me about the idea of family, heritage and history; I like that these unknown people loved, laughed, lived and died somewhere in the world, and now, by being added to my own small collection (and even though I don’t know a thing about them) they won’t be forgotten.

Are you a collector?


Sunday, March 13, 2011

A gorgeous autumn market and new homes for our beloved dolls…

I’m playing point and shoot this weekend – want to see what we’ve been up to?

Our lovely Mathilda’s Market stall…

After lots of last minute sewing, a long checklist, and a temporary panic regarding stock levels, we packed up the car and headed off to our first Mathilda’s Market yesterday morning.

Mum’s beautiful new cot quilt – available on our Etsy Store this week.  

We met so many lovely customers, received so much positive and encouraging feedback, and just loved watching the way people tentatively decided which doll they were going to take home (while holding three or four in their hands). After watching Kim spend hour upon painstaking hour lovingly crafting her dolls, it was the best reward of all to see them so universally loved – it makes my heart swell with pride for her.

Happy market faces!

I also lost track of how many times I heard beaming customers murmur (as they leant in close, studying each doll intently), ‘there’s just something about them…” – I’ve been smiling at their sentimental warmth and all morning. One delightful customer remarked that our dearly loved dolls were just so ‘wholesome’ – isn’t that the loveliest way to describe them? For me, this was the absolute highlight of the market; with our children growing up far too quickly, it’s so nice to be able to give them a slice of honest-to-goodness childhood through a friendly little doll – someone who hears all their whispered wishes, provides small reassurance in the darkness of the night, and is a universal sharer of afternoon teas, doctors visits, muddy puddles and long car trips.

So, to all our customers who gave our beloved dolls a new home – thank you! We hope that they’ll be a source of joy and comfort in the lives of your little ones. Please feel free to upload a photo on our Facebook page – we just love seeing our dolls being loved to bits by their new owners!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

To market, to market...

After weeks and weeks of sewing, planning, making, and sourcing, our stall at Mathilda’s Market is almost here! We’re thrilled to be a part of the first market for 2011, and are so looking forward to meeting lovely customers, other wonderful stallholders, and being in the most delicious creative environment.

Three sleeps to go….


Friday, March 4, 2011

All the world in a book...

I have a weakness for children’s picture books.

When I was pregnant with Judah, my eldest, I had already amassed a stack of best-loved books, and read to him daily, in utero. I don’t actually know if it made any difference, but Judah does love to listen to stories, and will (sometimes) stop mid-tantrum, or during a particularly boisterous outburst, to sit quietly and hear me read to him. I love this, and I hope it's the beginning of a life-long love of the printed word. 
His favourite books at the moment are The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, and much to my delight – Tikki Tikki Tembo, by Arlene Mosel (it was my favourite book as a child).
Little Lou can’t quite manage to sit still through a whole story yet, unless it’s past her bedtime and she’s exhausted. Then she’ll lean in, thumb in her mouth, dolly under her arm, and I can read to her without having to call her back one hundred times. Her favourite is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle – much loved by children and parents all over the world. 

I absolutely love finding picture book treasures online or in second hand bookstores. How wonderful it is to find an iconic childhood favourite buried in a box at a garage sale or hidden in the shelves at an op shop? My favourite find so far has been an old hardcover edition of The Magic Pudding, written and illustrated by Norman Lindsay. I adore that bad-tempered pudding, the simple drawings and the beautifully expressed Australiana theme – and I can’t wait to start reading it to the kids when they’re old enough.   

The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay, pg 22-23

What are your favourite children's picture books?


Ps. Linking up with the lovely Multiple Mum over at And then there were four for the Weekend Rewind. Thanks for stopping by! x

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Getting the balance right...

How tricky is it to get the balance right in life?
I have two toddlers under two-and-a-half, run a small business with my sister Kim, manage busy and messy household, forget to exercise and to drink water, eat way too much cake and chocolate, try really hard to be the best wife I can, and often neglect my vegetable garden.

I feel like I’ve had a very messy and disorganised last couple of years; so, this year, I promised myself that I’m going to make an effort to get some balance back into my life.

Of course, there are some old favourites in the mix – to exercise, eat well, and to love the place that I’m in and the people that I’m with. But I’m adding in some new ones too: to read at least a chapter just before bed; to tell the people I care about that I appreciate and love them more often; to write more letters and send birthday cards; to make an effort to see and spend more time with friends and family. I’d also love to live a more creative life by taking more photos, by experimenting in the kitchen, by writing on a regular basis, by taking a sewing class, so I can make my children beautiful clothes using beautiful materials, and by making the kids a handmade birthday present each year. I’d love to grow watermelons and apples, would love to give my neighbours fresh herbs from my garden, would love to grow sweet-smelling creeping flowers all over our white picket fence, and would love to install a timed water feeder in the garden, so if I forget to water the plants they won’t wilt in the heat.

Looks like so many things to do; luckily, the year is long…

How do you get the balance right in your own life?