15 October 2015

I think of you often x

This little bunny sits on a shelf in the most vibrant room in our home. The room we spend the most time as a family. He was the first toy I spied in the window of the little family run toy store not far from my home in Melbourne when I first fell pregnant and he was what I imagined the whole nursery to be created around.. A room full of woodland creatures was to be the theme for whoever this little boy or girl was going to be.

I lost that little person a few weeks later.

I didn't allow it to effect me at the time. The statistics that I learnt at the hospital when they confirmed that I was miscarrying told me how common it was and that made me feel surprised and sad that it wasn't something people talked about. It made me determined to hold my head up high and feel comfortable to share that I was among an extremely large group of women to have gone through such disappointment.

My grieving didn't manifest until later. I experienced a handful of panic attacks when we got a puppy a little while later and found it very hard to leave her alone. I also think that my anxieties and tendency to worry ramped up at that point in my life.

As I acknowledged what I was finally going through, months later, I went back to that little toy store and bought the little bunny. It has helped having something tangible to hold whenever a pang of grief comes.

I am grateful for having this experience, without it I wouldn't have my Harry. And I couldn't imagine life without him.

11 September 2015

Be Bigging Oneself!

Wow! What a week!
I opened my Etsy store a little while ago. I took some poorly composed pictures and listed my chalkboards, clocks and bunting. It was not an easy process for me and I spent a couple of days trying to get my head around it all and basically got quite stressed!

So I joined up to be a part of the 'Etsy Creative Challenge' on facebook which was going to be starting up offering a lesson a week, emailed to you to help with making your store a success and hopefully make sense! In my inbox on Monday morning was my first lesson. It talked about your inner critic and encouraging you to be proud of what you have in your store. 'Be Bigging" yourself, not belittling. There was homework attached to the lesson. 'Be big' yourself on the facebook page to all the other challenge goers! Pick a listing and be proud!
After reading the lesson and watching other people' s homework appear on my timeline, I almost didn't participate. Everyone looked so professional and truly artistic. I felt a bit like I didn't belong, that what I did was not in the same league at all!

Before I allowed myself to completely chicken out, I posted a link to my chalkboards.. Seeing my little Harry's happy face pop up, I felt proud :)
Before I knew it i was getting post likes and some truly wonderful and encouraging comments. By the end of the day I had made my first Etsy sale and sold 2 large chalkboards. The excitement I felt surprised me. How overwhelming the day was!

Later in the week, I was also plugged on an instagram site and asked to be featured on some body's blog! And went on to sell 4 more chalkboards! CRAZY!

I spent yesterday with my parents and Harry, having a lovely relaxed day and a bit of a celebratory lunch in one of our favourite teahouses.
It was a wonderful day with a little geocaching in local cemeteries and discovering historically significant convict graves, bush walking and bird spotting, discovering a MASSIVE op shop not far from home (squeal!) and indulging in a Chinese restaurant for dinner once Harry's Daddy knocked off work.

Harry's PaPa and I spotted a wonderful bird to add to the list while on a little bushwalk. He was a Powerful Owl. So big and silent! Sitting with his lunch in his claws. Not sure what it was that he had caught, but he certainly wasnt going to starve!

A great day :)

7 September 2015

Market Day - September

Been a little tardy with my blog last week. Sorry about that my 3 faithful readers!! I was flat out getting all my new products ready for yesterday's market. Not to mention that this weekend was also Father's Day and Harry's Daddy's birthday! So, a busy, busy week leading up to a busy, busy weekend.
We had some lovely celebration though the weather turned a little cold and blustery. We spent a lot of the weekend blowing bubbles.

 The turn in the weather, however, was fortunate for my positioning at the Blackheath Community Markets. Due to some cancellations I nabbed a spot indoors! I went into this market not expecting much. Being as it was on Father's Day, and my product is not really for that audience, I was going to be happy to simply cover the cost of my stall. I was pleasantly surprised to find at the end of the day that I had made a little more than that :) My new bookmarks being the biggest seller of the day!

Because it was a quieter day, I managed to have a little browse of the other stalls and chat with the other vendors. I got some lovely comments on my products and a couple of customers from last month came to tell me how well my chalkboards had been received as gifts :) It's these sorts of lovely things that makes me excited to be giving this whole venture a go and I am already looking forward to next month :)

31 August 2015

Fun at the Farm

Got back yesterday from a lovely visit to Harry's Grandparent's farm. The weather was beautiful and the wattle smelt amazing. Spring is definitely in the air and it was exciting! I had a lovely time wandering around the farm, just me and my camera, while the boys were off feeding horses and helping Pa with the daily tasks of being on the farm.

 Harry got to go out collecting firewood with the new toy chainsaw his Daddy brought home as a surprise recently. He pitched in, cutting and sawing, then collecting chopped up bits to go in the trailer. He looked so sweet with his little ear muffles on. He felt very special and just a little bit important I think!

It was also a weekend of wildlife. A new bird for the life list, The Double-barred Finch, a gorgeous little owl-faced bird. A Bearded Dragon that was accidentally woken from his hibernation inside one of the logs. Gave us all a bit of a fright when he popped out! Also a long necked turtle wandering across the road on our way home to the farm.. Harry was loving it!!

The evening was exciting too, with the largest moon I think I have ever seen rising up over the hill behind the farm. So beautiful! And soooo big!! Overall it was a wonderful weekend away and definitely recharged my batteries for the week ahead.. getting ready for market day on this Sunday!!

28 August 2015

Flashback Friday - Babyland General, Georgia

One of the more obscure places we have visited was the home of the Cabbage Patch Kid in Georgia. T'was a little surreal and just a wee bit strange! Just the sort of place I was hoping to see on my visit through America!!

If you grew up in the 80’s you may well be aware of how wonderful it was to get your first Cabbage Patch Kid. I remember looking at the wall of dolls in the toy store in the Venture Arcade in Penrith and the excitement I felt when I picked out my own kid, Renita Loveday Low!

So going to Babyland General in Cleveland Georgia was kinda like re-visiting that little girl I was when I picked out my ‘baby’. This was the site of the original cabbage patch that Xavier Roberts discovered! But as a 30-something girl, it also came across as really bizarre that this place existed. I had to stifle laughter..  a lot!
We entered the reception area and there was an older lady dressed as a nurse, stethoscope around her neck and all, who welcomed us to Babyland General and asked us to sign the hospital registry.  She seemed quite nice and explained to us how to enter the ‘nursery’. I thanked her and asked if it was ok to take photos.. ‘of course, the babies would love that!”..
o…kay.. *stifle giggles*
The place was quite overwhelming with the amount of crying babies..  speakers in the walls with baby wails going off! and loud mechanical sounds as cabbages moved to reveal newborn babies! Hilarious!

It was basically a big shop with a twist! The original kids were there behind glass.. and worth a fortune!

I did not leave empty handed and all the girls in the Durrant household will be very happy to see me when I return at Christmas ;)

22 August 2015

Sunny Day Painting

What a beautiful day. You can smell spring on the breeze and the sun beating down prompted sunscreen. Windows are open for the first time in months and I feel energised.. which also hasn't happened for months!

Harry and I spent the best part of the morning in the garden getting some painting done. We were out of his custom wrapping paper, so an arty day was overdue.
These sorts of activities, when it doesn't matter how dirty you get are the most fun! Nothing a bubble bath can't fix :)

20 August 2015

Echoes of the Past

This week we spent the day searching for a message from the past. Hundreds of years ago the Wiradjuri tribe had left their mark on the walls of an impressive area not too far from our home.

A magnificent and secluded area that took some sleuthing to find. No signs to direct us, just the instincts of Harry's PaPa who had visited this place once before. What we found was an ancient gathering place of the local aboriginal tribe. The walls rose up impressively before us and as we walked in we could feel the vibrations of the past and the importance of where we were.

Extraordinary rock formations, beautiful bird calls and wattle blooming. We scanned the walls for the evidence of the Wiradjuri people. When our eyes adjusted, there they were. Hand prints.. a reminder of how our planet should be treated, with respect and care.

So delicate and fragile, and so close to an area almost destroyed by 4WD vehicles and not far from where the local mine is having a devastating effect on the environment. I hope this place is only discovered by others who can respect the wonder and importance of history and nature. My wish is that these echoes of the past are still existing for Harry to bring his grandchildren to see.

17 August 2015

A Simple Act of Kindness

The other day we headed off to the train station to meet Harry's daddy after work.
As seems to be our little tradition Harry picked one of the little purple wildflowers that grow in abundance as we near the station. Every time we catch a train, he asks to pick one and every time I tell him to give it to the first pretty lady he sees. We have probably had this same little conversation dozens of times when he sees the flowers. This is usually where it ends. The flower either gets left on the train if it is even still in his hand when we board.

 On this particular day we arrived at the station and I had forgotten about the little purple flower until Harry spotted an elderly couple waiting for the train on the seat next to us.
'Mummy? Lady?' he said holding up his flower and then motioning to the elderly woman. I nodded and watched him timidly walk up and stand about a metre away from the couple. 'Say excuse me, Harry' I encouraged, which he did.
The couple looked confused and I explained that he wanted to give her a flower. Harry held out his hand and passed over the little flower. As soon as it had reached it's intended recipient, he came running back to hide his face as he hugged my legs.
Both the man and woman seemed so very touched and the gentleman told Harry that he had made her day!
I was so very proud of my little boy at this simple kindness that warmed my heart.
As we alighted from the train at our destination, we passed the lady who was still holding the little purple flower in her hand.

14 August 2015

Flashback Friday - Graceland

As it is Elvis week it seems appropriate to have this weeks flashback be to when we visited Graceland. What a great place!

Originally posted on August 20 2010 over here
(images are not working so well on certain devices.. if this is the case for you, click the above link to read!)

Thank You, Thank You Very Much!

Wow! What a place and what a man! I have been reminded about why I was fond of Elvis in my teens and The Boy has a new-found respect for the King! So much Elvis but not as tacky as I was expecting!
I honestly thought Graceland was going to be a garishly, tacky and vulgar amusement. But my goodness! I would be so proud to have that place as my home. The decorating in the house was not short of awesome! We were both blown away! It was just so cool and surprisingly understated. The rooms were not very large, but then again at the time Elvis bought it, they may have been! It seemed he put all his money into cars! He had so many (very cool) cars it was a little over the top (Ah! There you are Elvis!)

We spent over 4 hours immersed in all things Elvis, wandering around Graceland and its grounds as well as some exhibition halls on the other side of the street, adjacent to our accommodation, The Heartbreak Hotel!
The Heartbreak Hotel turned on the tack as if to compensate for Graceland’s lack of! Elvis pictures everywhere, the  Kid Gallahad Fitness Room, 24hr Elvis channels (3 of them!) and a giant screen playing concerts down in the bar, The Jungle Room! Did I mention it was on Lonely Street? hehe
Here’s my boy letting out his inner Elvis in our room..

Another trip highlight for us both :)

12 August 2015

8 August 2015

My Creative Space

I am the type to work in a state of chaos. I tend to spend the first 20 minutes either cleaning up or hunting for what I am looking for. Organisation has never been my strongest trait and I actually feel comfortable in cluttered spaces. I am far from minimalist!

Luckily I have a loving husband who understands this (sort of) and has allowed me my own room in our home to do with what I will, in exchange for turning a blind eye to the fact that we have climbing ropes hanging from doors and other rock climbing paraphernalia scattered about the house.. but I'm getting sidetracked..

The reason for this post is that love to see other people's creative spaces and thought I might share with you mine.

7 August 2015

Flashback Friday - The Grand Canyon

Today is 5 years to the day that we set off on our adventure across America living in our beloved Chevy Astro, Toby.
We don't do as much travelling these days, so I thought I might have a little flashback every now and then to past places I have visited.. some I will be drawing from an old blog of mine like this post. 

original post date : August 24, 2010

What goes down must come up!

Day 1.
I am writing this blog entry from the very bottom of the Grand Canyon, but will be posting it when I reach civilization again! If that does not impress you, it should, because it sure impresses me! But wait til tomorrow, the 15.3km hike out of here is going to simply astound me! the 11.3km hike in today was tough enough! Going down hill for that long, sure puts a strain on the ol’ legs! Took about 4 hours!

We have set up our tent and now are relaxing after a refreshing soak in the creek. (It’s about 35 degrees) The temperature got warmer the lower into the canyon we got. It was interesting to watch the vegetation change on our descent. The leaves became broader to soak up more sun.
Sitting here taking it all in, there is an abundance of wildlife. Butterflies all around! One just landed on my finger.. a snow white moment! Love it! And the cheekiest of desert rock squirrels is stalking our camp – he’s already had a chew of my back pack while my attention was turned the other way! I’ll be glad if we don’t see all of the wildlife though, there is something called the Giant Hairy Scorpion that lives around here. Sounds awful!
Down her in the inner canyon there is an excavated Hopi Indian Kiva  and we are off to a ranger talk in an hour about the first inhabitants of this very secluded  area.

Day 2.
It was difficult to sleep due to the heat and the thought of the following days hike out! But we headed to bed early with the fly off our tent so we could watch the stars and the dozens of little bats flying around the night sky.
We awoke in the middle of the night to a mule deer nibbling at the bush next to our heads. The closest I’ve been to one! It was too exciting and I had trouble getting back to sleep.
The alarm went off at some ridiculous hour and we were packed and heading out just as light started to seep into the the outer canyon. We wanted to get some miles under us before the sun really woke up.
Our legs had stiffened over night from the hike in and the first part of our walk out had me very nervous indeed! But sure enough as the walk became a climb, new muscles were introduced to the Grand Canyon!

The first half wasn’t too bad and we made the half way point by 8.30am.  I was pretty chuffed. We rested a little and felt a bit rejuvenated. This feeling didn’t last long! The sun was getting hotter, the legs sorer and the terrain steeper! Suncream and sweat was dripping off me and I just felt awful.
The closer to the top, the worse it got! (& the worse we looked) And annoyingly the more people we encountered heading down looking all fresh and lovely.

Unlike the hike in, I forgot about the scenery (except at rest points) the camera battery died on us on the way out but i was unlikely to use it as we just looked so dreadful! (Kind of a blessing in disguise!)
When we finally reached the top, 7 1/2 hours after we left, the feeling was awesome! I am very proud of myself although I can hardly walk and my shoulders ache like crazy (did I mention I was the water bearer??) Without a doubt, the hardest hike I have ever been done and so so satisfying!
Though the canyon is Grand from the rim, I would never have realised how deep and intricate it really is and how much it plays with perspective if we hadn’t ventured to the inner canyon!
One of this trips biggest highlights so far! Though my legs don’t agree! :)