Friday, June 30, 2017

the tiny wood workshop


Remember last week when I wrote that I couldn't wait for the day when I looked out of the lounge-room window and saw smoke billowing from the little chimney in the side of the little wood workshop? Well on Wednesday it happened.

At first I squealed with delight. And then I couldn't just stand there watching now could I? Nope, I pulled on my boots, grabbed my basket and blanket and made my way out there to join him.


And with the fire burning golden in the pot-belly, sunlight streaming in through windows that framed the Wombat State Forest, his tools hanging from hooks and perched on ledges, it felt like the most magical little workshop on earth.


After he spent some time moving in we got to work. Him with his axes and knives carving and me with some yarn and a hook crocheting his blanket. 

99% of the time crochet and knitting is such clean and portable work. When it's warm I love nothing more than to perch on a log or laze on a blanket outside and do a couple of rows, and when the cold comes I quickly take it inside. But wood work is different. It's a fair weather friend. It's messy and it's for outside only. And that doesn't seem quite fair. 

This solution, the little workshop, keeps him warm, creating and happy.

It doesn't hurt that he's shifted in a comfy chair just for me. 

In any case plans are afoot for my very own cubby-studio. A four by four room made from old windows and wood. Fully insulated, and heated complete with day-bed. Watch out I may just forget to go home.


So this past week has been a much happier one than the last. I felt like I'd been driving through the forest on a cold foggy morning when finally I came out into a clearing and the fog disappeared, the view was far and clear, and the light felt just right.

In reality nothing's changed, it's still winter, it's still ridiculously cold if not colder, the girls are limping towards their last day of school for the term, and sometimes my face aches just from walking outside. But I guess my dark cloud time was up. I'd done the days.

It always interests me how much more attention my sadder posts get. I wonder if it's because happy posts just skim the surface? If the online world is so full of people''s beautiful moments that the ugly one's stand out? If reading about other people's real and imperfect lives feels more relateable than the pretty ones and makes us feel less alone? Or if there's nothing much to say to someone who's traveling along well, while someone who is struggling can use advice, empathy and kindness.

Whatever the reason, just know that I always love your feedback on the good and the bad, and as always am grateful that you visit and read and comment. Thank you. xx

Which brings me to today and to now and to a quick rundown of all the other stuff that's happening.

I'm still crocheting that blanket. It's thick and it's soft and it's going to be so warm when I'm done. 

I'm listening to my fabulous friend Lainie Chait AKA Electro Girl speaking about living with epilepsy on Life Matters. What a cool human you are Lainie xx

I'm feeling excited about the winter school holidays. A break from the driving and crazy long school hours. Some sleep in's, some bonfires, some bush walks and of course some basketball.

I'm thinking a lot about what a difference positivity makes. 

I'm hearing the birds having a party in the garden and worrying about them eating all of the green manure seed.

I'm watching Miss Pepper make her theatrical debut in Hollow, a story of the events that surrounded the disappearance of three young boys in the forest of Daylesford 150 years ago.

After reading so many of your comments urging me to read some lighthearted books for my state of mind, I'm reading 'Anything Is Possible'. It's completely lovely even though at times it's sad and raw and honest. Each chapter tells the story of a person in a small town in America coping with life and love and loss. It's such a sweet book. At first it feels like the chapters are separate stories, but as you read more it becomes apparent that the places and stories and characters mentioned are often intertwined, which makes them feel familiar, and ties them all together, in effect making it one big story made up of lots of little bits - just like a small town I guess.

I'm loving sitting in farmer Bren's new workshop next to the fire, sipping tea, writing my blog while he works on his lathe turning a bowl right next to me.

I'm worried about the cat's new hobby playing in the toilet. Yuk!

Now that I think of it, I'm busting to go to the toilet but I can't be bothered going back inside.

I'm wishing that my onion seedlings will come up even though I think it's been far too long since I planted them to expect anything.


I'm thrilled by the fact that in the time it's taken me to write this blog, farmer Bren has fixed his pole lathe into place and carved a bowl from a chunk of wood. That's the bowl in the first photo on this blog. So cool right! In the photo above he's cleaning up the nib where the mandrel was attached. This afternoon he'll give it to his Mum as a present.

Until two days ago that wood was part of a Blackwood tree growing in one of the rows of one of our apple orchards. I've been asking Bren to cut it down for the past five years. Only now can I see that maybe he was just waiting for it to thicken up and become useful.


And finally I'm wishing you my sweet friends a peaceful weekend. May you be warm enough, feel strong enough and have something to look forward to.


Lots of love,

Kate  xx





34 comments:

  1. What a great Friday post. I love that you and Farmer Bren love to hang out together doing your own thing. Adorable as is the Tiny Wood Workshop.

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    1. It's so true. We often joke that we have 100 acres to hang out in yet we always find ourselves a meter apart. I'll have to remember to build him a comfy spot in mine. xx

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  2. Lovely images and words. I'm glad the dark cloud has lifted – it's hard to remember when you're in the middle of it that it will lift.

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    1. Thanks Anna, it's amazing how the world sparkles when the clouds lift though. Almost like you have to feel the blahs to really appreciate what you have. xx

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  3. We are preparing for a week camping trip but the weather had turned cold and rainy. Thanks for your beautiful pictures and words. Always love to read your blog.

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    1. Oh thanks so much Kayla! Are you still going to go? There's something pretty romantic about the sound of rain on the side of your tent (as long as it definitely doesn't leak). x

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  4. I think you get many more replies on your foggy days because so many people care about you and your family. I'm glad the fog has lifted and for seeing the smoke from the workshop! I don't always comment but always read and love the pictures - hearing about the girls, what farmer Bren is up to and generally what life is like on the opposite side. In the states we're getting ready to celebrate July 4th and I'm getting ready to try and calm the fur kids when all the fire works start. Take care - the blanket is beautiful, love the colors.

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    1. Thanks so much Kathy. I do love the thought that all those words and pictures that I've sent out into the world over the years have created a bit of a family. I hope your animals stay calm and happy tonight. xx

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  5. Oh that little craft house. So so sweet. Like something from a fairy story. What a beautiful way to spend some time each day. I am a tiny bit jealous that you are getting a space of your own.
    I think we comment on your sadder posts because we care, because we want to support you and because we have all been there at some time.
    That bowl is so sweet.
    Enjoy your school holidays.
    Cheers Kate

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    1. Thanks sweet Kate. It really does feel like hanging out in a little fairy house. And now that he's carving everyday he's getting so much better at it. So great to watch. And it is interesting how even though we only get a small glimpse into each others worlds we do sincerely care. I love that. I hope you have a great school holidays too lovely. xx

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  6. I've been thinking about you all week!! So strange how close strangers can feel. I'm glad you are feeling less blue, but I'm still worrying about you, wondering about the why and when your 'blueness appears" and whether there's anything that helps you move through it, or it's just a matter of time???
    Thank you for your beautiful writing, and sharing. It's definitely a Friday highlight xxx

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    1. Thanks so much Stefanoir. The cause behind the blueness interests me but I think I'm okay with it. Living in a dark cloud for a few days every now and then really helps me to see and appreciate the light. I'm lucky so far that it's never long term though, that would be a completely different story. xx

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  7. What a beautiful way to spend part of your day. So cosy, snug and safe. X

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    1. Those three words are the perfect description. xx

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  8. Oh kate, what a magical part of the world your farm is! I am always delighted to get a glimpse into it. Brenda bowls are absolutely beautiful. What a talent to have!
    And I am so happy to see you are reading something that isn't so hard on your psyche. And I really hope you find something you like in that list I gave you last week. How lucky that you get books from your sister!!

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    1. Thanks honey. It's so lovely to hear that you like seeing photos of our farm. Often as I sit here on a Friday loading the photos I wonder how many times I can put photos of the very same things onto my blog before I drive you guys crazy. Maybe a couple more then hey.
      And thank you again for your list. It's brilliant. At the moment I'm reading a book that I started and then put down when I was feeling crappy a few weeks ago. At the time it felt like it could pul me under. But now that I'm feeling good its reading as a good story. I'm not getting personally involved in it at all. Interesting.
      If only you lived closer and I could pass Abby's books over to you before I return them...
      Big love to you. I hope you're all doing fun things. xxx

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  9. Thank you for making me laugh with the "busting" paragraph .... I was thinking exactly the same thing sitting here working on my blanket :)

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    1. hahaha I love that you were too x

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  10. A cubby house for grownups. I think everyone needs one.

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  11. I believe nobody wants anybody to feel blue, and so they must try and make you feel better. 'Listening' to you talk about your cubby house makes me think of Laura Ingalls, I'm reading the Little House books to my daughter and I can't help but compare...a house full of girls, crafting, farming...you're just missing the fiddle! Looking forward to next Friday already x

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  12. You 2 have always kept my hope up for close connected love alive so thanks for that and for sharing every wonderfully creative thing you do. Also love that i got a cheeky mention in here...bit spesh xxx

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  13. Thank you so much for your blog posts. I read them when I get home from work on Friday afternoons and it is always a highlight and something to look forward too. The cabin looks idyllic and I am sure so much relaxing and productivity will happen there. I love your crochet blanket, it looks lovely and cosy. The bowl is great too. What a wonderful skill to have.

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  14. I would love a guest post about Farmer Bren's pole lathe, it is human-powered, right?
    This is a dream of mine to try to make items from wood like he does.

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  15. It's a so lovely Bren has an inside wood space! I think my super power is that I generally feel positive about life. This doesn't mean I don't get stressed but I can often stop to remember that everything is great. I think if you look around and look for beautiful things they are everywhere- light streaming, roses blooming... I have also been reading about strength based parenting. I think I naturally do it, being strengths based is such a social work concept (although now as usual psychologist have started doing it so think they invented it 🙄) but it's not just pouring out when they are doing something well, it's also pointing out their strengths when they aren't doing something well, ( or just being outright naughty!) and I can see Romi getting it, I think being positive can flow into every part of your life and that rises everything up. Also, no FB for me as meant a massive decrease in stress levels and it has been life changing.

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  16. I so love the little house..I love love love it. I am coming right up...oh, no...i have arthritis and 3 grands to raise...never mind, I still love it a lot. Happy posts/sad posts/angry posts...as long as they are real...I love them.

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  17. I love that studio Kate, just love it. Happy school holiday to you. Right now my daughter is in the garden playing and chatting to herself and my son in making something with wire in the sunshine. With the school routine out of the equation (for a little while!) life feels good and free. x

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  18. I love those yarn bowls. How nice to have something handmade with love. Nice to see that your enjoying the outdoors in the studio together too Kate. It sounds and looks so nice and comfy. I cant wait to see the snuggly blanket finished too. I hope you guys dont get too cold up there.

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  19. Magpies warbled above me today as I pulled down a tent I put up the day before to let the grandkids play in on their weekend sleepover at Nana's and Crackers'. I pulled it down, dried it off, moved the fire pit made of an old cut down 9kg gas bottle and pottered about with seeds and cuttings and dirt while those magpies warbled. A perfect winter afternoon.

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  20. I'm just home from a holiday where I spent the whole time very sick and unable to join my 3 friends in any fun. To stop myself being sad, I told myself over and over how glad I was to be with them and how they looked after me. My word for 2015 was perspective - think it will always be my word!
    I was disappointed to miss going down to see Hollow, as it was on while I was away, but how awesome is it to know that although we have never met we both had children involved in that amazing performance. My son, Daniel, is the clever artist who painted the tree on the stage! I hope it looked as great in real life as it did in the photos I saw of it.
    PS. Sorry, but I love Winter and the cold. LOL

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  21. So glad to hear that you are feeling better Kate. Perhaps you get more comments on your blog when you aren't feeling too good because you have a lot of people out here that care about you and want you to be happy. You give a lot of yourself on your blog so people feel they need to send good vibes and wishes when you are down. As my mum always said 'you reap what you sow'. Quite a good proverb for you given your garden skills now I come to think of it. Stay well.

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  22. Dear Kate,

    Have always loved reading your blog but haven't commented. You need to know that althouhg I have a happy life, I enjoy reading about your daily life. I think that it helps your readers to gauge more easily how they are travelling in life. Thanks for your writing and please keep it going. From a silent reader in the past, but now someone who is happy to comment occasionally. Robyn.

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  23. Dear Kate,

    Have always loved reading your blog but haven't commented. You need to know that althouhg I have a happy life, I enjoy reading about your daily life. I think that it helps your readers to gauge more easily how they are travelling in life. Thanks for your writing and please keep it going. From a silent reader in the past, but now someone who is happy to comment occasionally. Robyn.

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  24. In that space I decided to keep my workshop and work openly in my parking area. .... A tiny area is kept for some wood left over wood pieces; unfortunately I ...
    หนังออนไลน์

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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