School Holidays

So term 1 has officially come to an end and there are two blissful weeks of no school runs, lunchbox fights and lost uniform. Hurray! But there begins another conversation- what can I do? We are heading to the beach and I am determined to go equipped with art and craft supplies. The older girls have art journals, small spiral bound books to  take along and draw, paint and create all that we see and dream about. I have also made a quick visit to the local library today and found two books – an old favourite The Craft Kid by Kelly Doust and Signature Styles by Jenny Doh. Doust, of The Crafty Minx fame has many ideas for my older girls who want to sew and make. The book by Doh is a fun read and reflection of how various artists create and inhabit their everyday world. What I like about this book is that each interview is presented with a pattern to make something. We will have a sweet time determining what we might make! How do you plan to create in the school holidays?

I Don’t Know How She Does It

Based on Allison Pearson’s critically acclaimed bestseller, I Don’t Know How She Does It is a film about the struggle, the joy and the heartache of being a working mother, wife and woman.
I read Pearson’s novel when I was in the thick of raising small children (the first time around) in the UK and without the support of extended friends and family. I recall feeling physically stressed reading her to do lists and the epic struggle to find time for being a wife, Mum, fund manager and simply “Kate”in 24 hours. Who would crush store bought pies to make them look home baked? Kate is a time poor working mother who manages to convince herself that she can control it all and have it all, whilst wearing heels. The film is a somewhat slicker and smoother ride through Kate Reddy’s life but it does touch on all of those gender issues based around career and parenting, self fulfilment and identity. Why do women multitask? Why do they gate keep? Why do women think they can and should have it all?
We live in a culture of idolatry, where we pursue things without any regard to the sad human cost involved. The idols of power, control, comfort and approval all characterise Kate Reddy’s life. At times sacrifice is expressed in a neglected child, a forgotten appointment, silence between husband and wife or kids logistics in exchange for real conversation. Both the film and the book are worth a visit. Neither suggests that our idols need sacrificing or that our idols propel us far from our Creator and into chaos. But I do think Reddy’s world should make us stop and reflect on our own circumstances.
I am a mother of five and wife of one and I know the craziness of family life and the temptation to think, yeah…I don’t know how I do it? But it gets done. Good on me. The reality is I don’t do any of it in my own strength. And if I am ever tempted to think that, I am a fool. I don’t know how anyone does it without Him. 

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46.1

A wonder to behold

Abigail Brown

WOW! Sometimes you stubble across images in a magazine or online and you find yourself making an audible noise. WOW! These amazing creations by London based artist Abigail Brown are amazing. If you thought a textile artist was a patch and stitch kinda thing that your Nanna did, think again. Her work is quite incredible with a decent price tag to go with it. Brown has had much press recognition on a local and international level. Have you ever seen anything quite like it?


Do you have a special workspace? In an office, in a tiny corner of your lounge or bedroom. My little desk is being over run by papers and filing right now. I long to tidy the fabric spilling our from bags and ‘to do’ piles, capture the filing and use a system that actually works (using Lissane Oliver’s tips from Sorted), create a beautiful display of inspirational pictures of family, make a mood board and….and clean up my laptop. I know these things don’t just happen and I need to plan the time to do it. It won’t actually take all that long, but I will relax when it is done. I need clean, clear space to stay sane – do you? Even if the draw inside is a mess…if I can’t see it I don’t worry. Imagine if this was your work and creative space! Aaahhh.

Minus One

School lunches – Nude Food Boxes, Flasks and fruit

So I have been meaning to tell you that on the weekend we lost our boy. He flew to China with his year level from school and he will be away for four weeks. Four weeks is a long time. Tonight our youngest asked if he would be back tonight. She has no concept of the time he is away, or the impact it will have on us all. I am so excited for him. And am praying for his safety and protection, with each breath I take. It will be interesting to see how one less mouth to feed ( and I mean a 6ft teenage boy mouth size) will change family meal times and the chaos of packing school lunches. And the overall soundtrack of our life together……..

A Different Kind of Domestic Goddess?

Sometimes we talk ourselves out of bestowing kindness because it costs us. But when we extend kindness, we are doing our own souls good and blessing one another.

From time to time I have prided myself on being a Domestic Goddess of sorts, think Nigella Lawson. Abundant. Fruitful. And then something goes awry in the kitchen and I have to eat humble pie. But have you ever thought of yourself as one who extends Domestic Kindness? I found this blogpost really challenging and a timely reminder of the person I should be at home, where you cannot see me. Maybe we should make this our experiment for the week. Let me know how you go.

Thank You

There have been many seasons of my life when saying thank you just didn’t quite seem enough. The words are always heartfelt, but at times seem inadequate for generous acts of love and grace. Times of illness, after the birth of a new babe, during times of joy and celebration, a ‘thank you’ in word or action means so much. So I would like to say thank you to you, and know that I mean it. Thank you for reading my blog. It is a joy to write and reflect on family life, faith, design and more. It is even more of a privilege to have some of you enter into the discussion through your comments, Facebook and email. And even better an in person word of encouragement that tells me that what you read here is helpful. I do invite you into a snapshot of our life together where we have 7mouths2feed each day and 7 hearts and minds to nurture. Let me encourage you to share your ideas here too. Two voices are always better than one.
Thank you…….

The Daily Life

I am imagining myself writing for the Daily Life, observing what I see in our home each day and presenting you with a report. What really struck me this morning is what makes some transitions into a new day so much more difficult than another? Is it lost school uniform, the disappearing sock, a child unable to decide on a breakfast cereal, an unkind word or two to a younger sibling, repetition of questions, loud noise, extra loud drum practice, expressed unhappiness about the choose of healthy food in the school lunchbox, dismay about having to go upstairs again to brush teeth, comb hair or make a bed. Or a child starting school early for orchestra practice, remembering what is on after school, packing all the correct gear for PE, grabbing the hat as you walk out the door to avoid a demerit, a runny nose or cough. Then occasionally there is a reminder of a bill to pay, an errand to run, a phone call to make. Expressing anxiety for a  friend in trouble. A general discouragement. Recalling a conversation with a friend, dreaming of getting away, of avoiding the commitments of daily life here. Isn’t that what holidays are for?

They have all gone to work and school, all but one and me. Quiet. The house is quieter….the hum of the washing machine, an episode of Play School, the sun is shining. Maybe it will be ok. The mess is tidied away, a cake is made and placed into the oven. I pull back my hair, apply some lip gloss and grab my glasses and take on the world. Where will my rest come from today?

David Crowder – Great God Give Us Rest