Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Dress.

Just the other day I was saying to Bren that I felt so uninspired in the sewing department. I've been knitting like crazy, but I didn't remember the last time I had reached into my vintage sheet pile or made something just because.

This morning we drove to Melbourne to do the egg drop offs because our delivery guy is on holidays. Afterwards we popped into a shopping centre for some retail action. The girls each had a list of a few basics that they needed and I was happy to get all the shopping done in one go.

Well I have no idea if its me or the current fashion, but we didn't find anything except shoes. It seems I have lots of family fashion don'ts these days. I don't like branded clothes, clothes with characters on them, slogan clothes, shiny clothes, too tight clothes, slutty clothes, clothes I can make easily, fluorescent clothes, fussy clothes, clothes with tacky machine embroidery, white clothes...gosh, somebody stop me now.

Anyhow, we came home from Melbourne, Bren went out to mow, the girls started some sort of game and I pulled out an old sheet and drew a pattern onto it and sewed a dress. A simple, girly, cotton, comfy, light, summery dress.

She loves it. The big girls do too.

I've drawn a pattern off it to make some more in other colours and patterns.

It looks like it passes the running away from Mum and her annoying photo shoots too.

So my sewing inspiration might have come out of hibernation after all. Yay!

I'm off now to pack our emergency fire kits. If its not pouring with rain here, it seems its HOT with wild winds.

So how about you? Have you had any luck shopping for kids' clothes lately? Do you have crazy clothing rules like me? Do shopping excursions make you dash for your machine too? Have you got plans for New Years' Eve? How would you dress up your bike if you had to? What are you having for dinner tonight?

Happy eve before New Years' Eve. XX

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The year of love!

Good morning!
How're things with you?

So I'm sitting here thinking about the new year. 2011. Wow!
And I'm thinking about where I want to go and who I want to be this coming year.

So many things are popping into my mind and I'm tempted to write a whole resolution list but today I'm going to start with one thing. The top of my list.

I think that this coming year, after ten years of parenting, my Farmer Boy and I need to schedule a bit of regular alone time. Just him and me and away from the farm.

A date night. With a baby sitter and all. Woo Hoo! I am excited already.

Just now after I wrote that bit I called a friend and asked her if she was interested in the job and she loved the idea. She thinks we should prioritise it. I do too.

So there you go. My first New Years' Resolution has been put into action.

What about you? Do you have a regular date night? Have you started making your resolution list?

Have a wonderful fourth last day of the year.

Oh and the puppies still have their eyes closed but they have started wagging their tails. Too cute.

Bye now. XX

Monday, December 27, 2010


The Rainbow Eden Dress!
I love this wool! I love how the colours bleed into each other.
I love this pattern! So perfect to show off the fancy colours.
And I love how soft merino wool is.
Raveled here.

I love that Jazzy loved her new Rainbow Dress so much, she was happy to brave the icy wind for a photo shoot.

I love that none of us has gotten dressed today. Lazy daysies.

I love, love, love the puppies. Puppy love - I totally get the full meaning of that term now. They are all huddled up together asleep right now in a bundle after a day spent feeding voraciously.

I loved scripting, casting, rehearsing, shooting and editing The Friendship Movie this morning.

I love the way Indi is moving into the spare room and the touches she is putting on it to claim it as her own.

I am not loving the sore pimple on my chin.

I love having my farmer boy at home with us all day long.

I love that the girls are all working together as I type this to make a batch of chocolate balls. Oh my goodness the mess!!

I love that her sticker chart is making Jazzy behave like an angel.

I love coffee and salad with haloumi and salty pop corn and summer fruit.

I love it that the girls are working through a book of fairy tales. The little girls take turns choosing and Indi reads them one each night before bed.

I love that there are no plans, no time-tables, just slooooooooooow summer days.

What's going on at yours?
What are you loving??

See ya later alligator

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Slow puppy Sunday.

At our house today we are all tired and slow after being up most of last night watching Willow the Maremma give birth to her six puppies, three girls and three boys.

It was such an incredible and emotional and humbling part of life to witness.

Willow has been napping on and off all day while her still closed eyes pups guzzle hungrily at her teats. She is such a great mama, so attentive and patient and adoring. And we have all been drawn to her like magnets, watching and stroking and checking and admiring.

I've been knitting a few rounds of Jazzy's rainbow dress here and there.

And taking lots of pics of it too.

We have been doing the farm chores and picking raspberries, strawberries, currants and gooseberries.

We have been making cubby houses and sand tea parties and we have been drawing, colouring in, dressing up and stirring yet another frothy pot of strawberry jam.

What are you up to?
I hope all is merry and happy and bright at yours.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The princess dress replacement.

Since taking off her school uniform a week ago, Miss Jazzy has been wearing a frou-frou, tulle covered princess dress every day. The same dress day in and day out. She loves it. Its been the uniform she wears when she's not wearing her uniform.

But last night at a farmers' market in Melbourne, the princess dress suffered some major rips and tears and this morning she stayed dressed in her dressing gown and the dress lay in a heap where she left it last night.

This morning I began the important task of making her a dress she would love just as much but would perhaps be a bit sturdier for the life of a princess who lives on a farm.

I had strict instructions of course: It has to twirl and whirl and be great for dancing she said. It has to tie up at the back with a sash and be long enough to be girly but short enough not to get in the way and it has to be colourful.

I'm sure she meant pinks and purples but denim with red is my favourite colour combination right now and she doesn't seem to mind at all.

So far, so good but the real test will come tomorrow morning.

And so dear readers, we here at Foxs Lane would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a wonderful, merry, love filled weekend whether it be Christmas or any other day of the week for you.

Much love, XX

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Naughty girls.

Good morning!
How are you?

I'm good. I'm enjoying the first slow day of the summer holidays. We've got nowhere to go and no schedule to keep. So far the only thing reminding me that time is passing is the requests for more toast and more toast.

Indi and Jazzy are doing illustrating lessons on the computer, Pepper, Bren, Pierre, Liam and his kids are in the shed processing garlic and I am sorting photos and stirring my strawberry jam pot.

You guys were so wonderful and helpful with the title question I asked you the other day, so I thought you might help me with something else.

How do you deal with other people's kids when they misbehave on your watch????

The other day I took a whole lot of kids to the playground. They played for a while and then they noticed a young guy cleaning up the place. He was collecting rubbish and tidying up. They kept playing and watching him and giggling and I kept knitting. All of a sudden they erupted into laughter. I looked up to see one of the girls tipping a bag of our lunch rubbish all over the ground. There were food scraps and tinsel and bits of wrapping paper and confetti and glitter that we'd been careful to collect. It was a real mess.

I was horrified. I apologised to the man and asked him if he could get the girls to help him clean it up. He said no and that he'd seen worse and that it was his job and that he'd do it.

I turned to the girl who had done it and had no idea how to deal with her. She is not my kid. I gave her a bag and told her to get the big bits. I told her she had behaved badly and wrongly and disrespectfully. I told her that one day it might be her cleaning for her job and how would she feel if someone did that to her. I probably went on about it too long and then when I got them in the car to take them home I went on about it some more. To be honest I had no idea what to say or do though and I'm pretty sure that I made no impact on her.

So how do you discipline other people's kids? Is it my responsibility to teach them right from wrong? What would you do in that situation?

The photos are of the Rainbow Eden's Eve I am knitting. Oh how I love this wool. I wanna eat it. I am staying up waaaaaaaaaay too late watching each colour blend into the next. Love!

Oh and for those who asked, I bought the wool off a woman who was having a destash, she had bought it off a destash a while back and I have no idea where it came from before that.

Have a fabulous Tuesday y'all. XX

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Yesterday I took Miss Jazzy and two of her seven year old friends to Ballarat for the day. We played at a playground, we ate yummy snacks and we saw a movie.
They chatted and sang and danced the whole day through.

At one stage I overheard them discussing their Mums and what they do.
'My Mum is a lawyer in Ballarat' said one proudly.
'My Mum is a journalist for the Ballarat newspaper' said the other, just as sure of herself.
And then they turned to my Jazzy, 'What about your Mum? What does she do?'
'Ummmmm....I'm not sure' replied my girl.
I looked at her wearing a t'shirt I'd screen printed and a skirt I'd sewn, dying to hear her reply. 'Well, she washes the dishes sometimes and she sleeps and ummmm she does the laundry and she helps Dad get the eggs.'

Wowzers, talk about a quick crash down to earth.
Who on earth am I and what do I do?

This morning I reminded her of that conversation and asked her what her Dad does. 'He's a farmer, he looks after the animals and gets the eggs and plants vegetables.' she quickly replied.

I'm fascinated that some people get cool sounding titles to be proud of, whereas others, like me, don't. Somehow housewife and stay at home Mother don't sound like words I'd use to describe myself anyway. They include some but certainly not all of what I do. And I studied fine art with a Bachelor of Education at uni but that's not me any more.

I need a title that includes everything I am today:teacher, baker, washerwoman, cook, chauffeur, psychologist, lover, designer, artist, stitcher, knitter, friend, doctor, hairdresser, adjudicator, farmer, personal shopper, navigator, stylist, printer, nurse, vegetable picker............................................................

Don't get me wrong, I'm not feeling bad about what I do, I was the one at the movies on a Friday morning and not in an office after all.

Meanwhile, this afternoon, Bren is making a little dog house on the deck for Willow and her puppies, Pepper is passing him tools, Jazzy is playing Monopoly with a friend of mine and Indi is in Melbourne with her cousins.

So who are you and what do you get called?
I wonder.

I hope you are having a great weekend whoever you are.

See ya. XX

Oh and one last thing: what's your favourite thing to do with too many strawberries?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The calm before...

One more day until everyone is on school holidays!
Pepper and I made cup cakes to celebrate.
Indi has ridden her bike to Lola's house and I am enjoying a few last moments of calm.

I'm sewing a dress from an old skirt of Emily's.
I always loved that skirt and wished it were mine.
From Emily it went to Meg's and then finally came to me.
But when it did I decided I couldn't wear elasticised waisted skirts anymore, so it sat in a pile for a while. And then this morning I cut it up.
Much better.

I am knitting something that is waaaaaaaaaaay too complicated for me.
I'm only up to about row 10 and already I've had to learn how to do short rows, wrap and turns and I'm about to do something called deep waffle stitch. help!

I am gazing lovingly at this gorgeous rainbow yarn that arrived in the mail this morning.

I am reading, or rather admiring, a picture of our boys.
Farmer Bren and Bingo the maremma are Misters October in The Weekly Times doggy calendar. How cute!!

And we are finally eating fresh, green garlic.
We started harvesting yesterday and my goodness it is wonderful to have great garlic to cook with again.

So what's going on with you?
What are you cooking? Growing? Knitting? Sewing?

Have fun.
See ya!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Making me smile.

Wowzers, what a crazy time of the year! So many lists, so much to remember and so much to do. And of course with that comes so many things to hold on to, so many things to cherish and so many things making me smile.

Here are a couple of things making me smile today:

Casting off The Acacia pattern (above), trying it on Miss Pepper and her wearing it constantly ever since. I still haven't darned in the ends or blocked it. Raveled here.

Being invited into Jazzy's class to help them make and then outfit some teddy bears. I thought the teacher wanted me there to teach the kids how to do it all, when in fact she wanted to let them loose with the piles of materials. You should have seen the magnificent creations they came up with.

The star shaped garden kitchen garden beds outside the front door waiting to be filled and then planted out. No more driving down to the paddocks for a lettuce, hooray.

Watching the boys work out the exact angles of each garden bed using an iPhone app.

A woman coming up to me in the super market last night telling me I was pushing her shopping in her trolley. Looking over and seeing Bren and the girls with our trolley hysterically laughing at me.

Gorgeous cards and packages in the mail. (thanks Cath!)

The wonderful and inspiring happy lists that keep being added to the list. Go and read a couple if you get a chance, or even better write your own, its amazing how contagious happiness is.

Telling the girls off for something and having that crazy cat (iPhone app) repeating everything I say in a silly voice.

Liam getting the ute bogged in the paddock in the middle of December!!!!

Sewing bits and pieces like The Embroidered Table Cloth Dress for my shop.

Two more lots of school lunches to make.

Sooooooo many slow summery days ahead of us.

Berries and Willow's pregnant belly and knitting commissions and sneaky tours of the new school classrooms and blue skies and salads and plans and coffee....................................................

Have fun out there. XX

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Legs eleven!

Happy anniversary to you my beautiful farmer boy!
I adore you!
You rock my socks!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Your happy list.

Good morning!

I've just been cruising around blog land visiting the happy spaces of Ms Cathie and Ms Becky and reading their happy lists. Isn't it funny how someone else's list of happiness can make you feel happy.

Well it got me thinking, if my happy list got me thinking about all the good things in my life right now and reading those two happy lists made me feel happy all over again, then I think you should totally have a go and write your own list. What a great start to the weekend.

Happy, happy, happy!

Don't think about it too much. Just start writing and see how you go.
Then leave your linky in the space below and we can all pop over to your space, read your happy list and spread that love.
I can't wait to see what you come up with.

(Oh and if you have no idea what I am talking about, check out my post from yesterday).

Ok, happiness and joy here we come.

And have a happy and fun weekend. XX

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My happy list.

I'm struggling today.
The crazy rains of the past few weeks have made such a mess of our farm and our plans for this season. At the moment it looks like we might not be able to plant a vegie crop this year, our orchards that a week ago were laden with gorgeous looking fruit, have been horribly mutilated by the warm wet, fungal loving tropical conditions and garlic beds that should be drying out and feeling the warmth of summer are instead sitting in water. Our driveway and various other farm structures have been washed down the creek and just when we thought we'd had it all, the locusts have been flying in this morning and making them selves at home.

I feel guilty for feeling bad though. There are so many out there so worse off than me. So many that make my list seem insignificant.

So I'm not going to give into it today.
Instead I'm going to write my happy list. No order. Just a ramble of things as they come to me.
If this is something you feel like doing too, let me know so I can come and visit.

Ok, here goes:
Indi at home today, my gorgeous farmer boy, olive dip on toast, cherries, knitting, friends who get it, Jazzy graduating from reading recovery, colouring books that entertain and challenge, Ravelry, embroidered table cloths, Pepper's imagination, Jazzy's princessy dress sense, how fast my new iPhone is, warm baths, fun packages in the mail, stripey socks, less than a week until school holidays, baking a cake for the boys' lunch, coffee, hand painted yarn, Indi feeling better, Jazzy's dancing, family, health, love, a whole tub of textas that work, inspiration, my girls, Friday Night Lights season 4, Indi's duck eggs business, blog comments, Emily's car park, Hairspray, my little shop, broad beans, a warm dry house, opportunities, licorice, my kids' art work, wooden buttons, Liam's latest idea - crispy beer battered locusts...

I could keep on going, it has really made me feel better to focus on the good instead of the crapola but the boys are coming in for lunch.

Have a happy day!
See ya!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Real life.

Lately I feel like I've been having the same conversation over and over with so many of my friends. Is this it for the next ten to twenty years? Is this what we have to look forward to? Is cooking, washing, working, cleaning, driving and planning enough?

I don't know if it's the weather, the time of year or our age group but its coming up all the time.

But then out of nowhere last night I had a sort of vision of the bigger picture.

We had had an enormous day driving to Melbourne and back for a farmers' market and then an evening of dealing with tired and cranky kids and the last thing I felt like doing was the farm chores. But as we were walking back from shutting the ducks in I had this thought that if I could show my life to myself 10 or 15 or 20 years ago, how excited those Kates would be for the future.

It was twilight, magic hour as Bren calls it, and I started to tell those Kates how my farmer boy and I had just wandered through the forest to feed and close the ducks in for the night, how we were walking past the 300 chicklets and checking on pregnant Willow dog. How our three daughters were fast asleep in their beds and we were going inside to watch a dvd, have a cuppa and I would knit.

Somehow it changed my perspective by breaking it down like that. The tantrums, the mess and the lack of clean clothes or food for the school lunches seemed insignificant somehow and it made it sound like a wonderful dream. Like something to look forward to.

I guess I am living my dream, my happily ever after. I just have to remember this when I get bogged down in the details.

Have you been having these thoughts/conversations? I wonder if you are living your dream. If when you break it down that you can see beyond the daily chores and it looks different. I'd love to know.

I hope your Monday is a funday. XX

ps And the little hints of denim coloured knitting from the last few posts became the top of this dress. The bottom is a seer sucker table cloth. More details here.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thanks Jess!

This Saturday afternoon I am sitting here feeling overwhelmingly grateful for the generosity of bloggers.

A few months ago when I started knitting, I wrote a post on my blog about the pros and cons of knitting. One of the problems with being a brand new knitter I wrote, was all the stuff I needed to buy.

A few days later I got this mysterious black wrap in the mail from the gorgeous Jess.

What do you think was inside?

The most wonderful gift of all for a brand new knitter!
Knitting needles of every shape and size, all organised and neat and tidy.

How cool is that!

A few moments ago while I was knit, knit, knitting away at the top in the first photo, all of a sudden the pattern asked for the sleeves to be knit onto another pair of size 3 needles.

Another pair!!!???
First I panicked.
Then I thought about removing the stitches onto some waste yarn and knitting them later.
And then I remembered the wrap.
And sure enough, there was a pair of size 3 needles waiting for me.

Thanks Jess! I feel so very lucky that you chose me for this wonderful gift.

Thanks also to everyone else who has sent me or another blogger a brilliant gift. What a brilliant bunch bloggers are.

The sun is shining, my washing is drying, we are going to eat dinner outside tonight.

More grateful here.

See ya!

Friday, December 3, 2010


I am sewing.

I am knitting.

I am baking.

I am crocheting.

And I am singing Rain, rain go away, come again another day!

Have a happy and safe weekend out there.

Visit my other blog.