“Sometimes you couldn’t face the sadness of being forgotten until you felt the comfort of being remembered again.” ― Ann Brashares, The Last Summer

Saturday, August 25, 2012

JK Rowling captured a rather wonderful thing when she created the remembrall for the Harry Potter books. Do you remember them? They are clear glass balls that are small enough to be held in the palm of your hand. When they are filled with red smoke they indicate that the holder has forgotten something and they become clear again once the thing has been remembered. They came to mind when I got this picture in an email from my sister.
That's my glamorous grandma Mary (although her name was actually Sheila), my aunty Ann and my darling dad at the front. My grandma Barney (although his name was actually Brendan) is not in this photo and I wonder if perhaps it was a gift for him but, of course, I'll never know because those little details are lost as family trees grow bigger and the past recedes. I'd want to know what my dad was like as a baby, where Mary got that wonderful hat and why they had the photo taken.
We didn't have any photos of my dad as a baby until my sister got this one from my aunt this week. That young girl up there with the thick braids grew up to be a nurse, fell in love with a US marine who was injured during the Korean War and moved to Texas. Some distances are greater than others and, as the years wore on, we discovered that the distance between Sydney and Amarillo is particularly vast. Ann's marine passed away a couple of years ago and she has been clearing things out. My sister in Boston and her family recently passed through Amarillo to see her. She gave them this photo and I found it in my email today. It feels like the most precious gift, a rare jewel that no-one sees the value in but us. I have been staring at it feeling deeply both happy and sad. It's been lovely.
There are so many things that I would like to know but I am unable to find out so my remembrall will remain opaque. In time, my family pictures will be like the ones above. A few vaguely familiar faces smiling out at the yet to be born. Will they smile back briefly and grant me the comfort of being remembered?

When all the children are sleeping...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I am sitting up late working on the yearbook for G's class, stitching fox tails for the book parade, doing household paperwork, finishing up laundry and trying to make sure I have everything lined up so that the next day can run smoothly. This is, of course, the 'stuff' of life and I am doing my best to find joy in these mudane tasks. The yearbook will be a lovely memento for G's class as they head off to high school next year, book week is a lot of fun and J's teacher has been very appreciative of my help, the only joy in paperwork is to be found in keeping it under control and waking to a relatively ordered house helps my mood immensely, but still I find myself wishing away this very busy period. Term 3 can hurry up and move on now!

I Love Fruit - Pear

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The pear quilt finally landed in Boston straight into the chubby arms of my nephew, Tommy. I started this quilt quite a while ago knowing that my sister loves this fabric range and inspired by a gorgeous board book called I Love Fruit. As usual, I had several moments of uncertainty, e.g. those strip curves were very hard to piece, I wasn't completely happy with my fabric selection for the background, I wasn't sure how to quilt it, etc but that striped bind pulled it all together and I am very, very happy with it. I am mentally planning a whole series of pieced fruit quilts.... you've got to love my optimism.
It is cot sized, quilted with slightly organic (read - wonky) horizontal lines, backed with a soft green polka dot fabric and bound with a beautiful organic cotton from Monaluna.

Now back to hand stitching C's scooter quilt - it's nearly finished and she can't wait to get her hands on it.

100 Days

Thursday, August 09, 2012

C recently celebrated 100 days of kindergarten with a party and games at her school. They have been looking forward to it for months and the massive check off sheet they kept on the wall between the two kindy rooms was the starting point for a lot of their learning around maths and numbers.
We made some of Oma's famous cupcakes (recipe here) to take to the celebration.
It seemed like a good time to let you know how that pocket quilt I made at the start of the year has been holding up. It's been put to good use over the past 100 days. She keeps it in her pocket and often reaches in to hold it whenever she needs a little reassurance. It is falling to pieces so I took a scrap of minkee from her new quilt, embroidered a little heart on a scrap of pinwale cord from my mum and made her a new one.
She hasn't put the new one in her pocket. Instead, it hangs from a carabiner on her backpack with a collection of keyrings. I guess that means she's feeling pretty confident about the next 100 days. 
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Heart full.

Happy Birthday Tommy!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Striped binding makes everything better.
Today, I am putting the finishing stitches in the pieced pear quilt for my nephew, Tommy. It feels good to be finishing it up today because today is his 1st birthday. This time last year my darling sister was in a labour ward in Boston and I was sitting with my mum in a surgeon's office here in Sydney being told that mum had cancer. It was quite a day.
12 months on we have a lot to celebrate - mum is well and Tommy is totally adorable.
P.S. I'll share some photos of the finished quilt after Tommy has a chance to unwrap it and drag it through something that stains ( my children recommend soy milk).

Beyond Awesome

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

This photo is currently doing the rounds of all my FB friends and it delights me. It is spot on! C and JW are exactly like this whenever I buy Nutella and it reminds me of just how delightful it is to be the mama and able to provide moments like this.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Heart full.

Suse, I am choosing to overlook the glaring grammatical error in this one.

Work in Progress

Monday, August 06, 2012

This is going to be a little quilt for a special new baby girl. I pieced it all on Saturday night and was flying along only to RUN OUT of the sashing fabric. Of course, this is now an old line (Alexander Henry Heath in brown) but I was able to find a fat quarter on Etsy. I love Etsy!

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