“not working” at the moment

It’s a joke how I keep telling people I am “not working” at the moment and I feel I have never been busier… and not even much knitting to show for!

I have been getting quotes for various things that need fixing in the house. There has been lot’s of tidying and sorting, which feels good. There has been cooking of nice family meals and giving time to the kids. It seems that they have taken weeks to realize that I am available to listen and they have done a lot of talking, which is so valuable.

There have been almost daily work emails, despite “not working”… I have met up with various people from different industries about future work. Of course I have still been teaching at TAFE… and I have taken on the tutoring of 2 yr 11 boys in English, which I very much enjoy.

There have been endless medical appointments and procedures for more than half our family members that I had been putting off.

There has been a quick 4 day dash to the snow with Vincent. The weather was beautiful and the snow was great. I crashed down the slopes trying to keep up with Vincent on his snowboard… The sweet part of parenting… It was also wonderful to stay in the local Youth Hostel, I met so many fabulous women!20150814_092126

20150815_140551I managed the solo car drive just fine. It had worried me, to be honest… after crashing my car in March… but I did just fine.

In between all this I have been thinking… about the relationship of success, achievement and how often people are valued on the basis of both. I saw this and it made me mad.

Screen shot 2015-08-19 at 9.31.48 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is success anyway? High achievers are not necessarily successful in my eyes, if they achieve through bullying and on the expense of others. And there are so many of those… And successful people can be inspiring, motivating and generous. But success and achievement require more than our mental attitude, there is luck, supportive environments, material security… And to make a general claim about what unsuccessful people are, and thus inferring why they are unsuccessful is just so awful.

Success is something personal. Everybody has their own yardstick. Success should not be a moral value we attach to people’s worth. (Off my soap box and getting on with chores).

Endlich Ruhe im Karton

(At long last peace in the cardboard box)

A manic few months have come to an end and I am finding myself in a state where I am torn between exhaustion (really wanting to rest) and new energy (all those things I now have time to do).

Facebook

During the conference, some of the lovely volunteers got me hooked up with facebook. What fun! I can see what a waste of time that can be. Worse than pinterest! But on a positive note – it’s great to connect with old acquaintances, get “to know” people I have know forever and seeing an entirely different side to them – wrong, not different – rather a new dimension. And I have picked up the phone to speak to people ‘in person’, invited them to stuff, simply because they are ‘in my life’ on facebook, so I am keen to re-connect in real life!

Home

I have had payback in various degrees for having been entirely absent for 2 weeks +, not so much from the dogs… but from young ones. So rather than reeling in guilt for having worked hard (gained great satisfaction from doing a great job AND getting some money) I have just quietly pampered everyone, as much as I can. Lifts to school in the rain, special something in the lunchbox, helping with homework, listening, a tidy house, doing all the chores myself, lovely dinners… it’s great to be back. It’s kind of nice to know I have been (if but subconsciously… ) missed. And it’s not like I am an absent parent. It’s the juggling between parenting/ nurturing and living your own life welI and lead by example. And over parenting is not really that healthy… On that note, it’s so good that Patrick keeps up with the bands, I love the live music in our downstairs, even though it means the downstairs dweller child gets to bed late that night.image

I am compiling a long to do list of renovations that really need doing (curtain rails & curtains – it’s WINTER and the heating packed up!), the roof, window cleaning, dusting, cleaning the kitchen cupboards) – fear not, I will not overdo it, it would just be nice to have the house back to cosy and operational again.

Knitting and other important crafty Pursuits

I do remember how to do it! I have cast on another Levenwick, this time for my niece Harriet. image

And do look at these lovely yarns – courtesy of Sue – I never seem to leave her house without at least two knitting projects worth of yarns! imageAs per usual, the mind works faster than the hands can cast on, and I am in danger of starting too many projects and ending up with a few UFOs.

On Friday Jenny comes over and we are going to do all the alterations to our ill-filling but potentially amazing wardrobe misfits! Yeah, can’t wait, I have wanted to do this for ages, it will be so much fun to re-design rags and breathe new life into them!

The Great Outdoors

I have booked a few days in the snow with my son next month, he is a keen snowboarder. And I am very unfit. So the dogs are very happy for me to get back to long brisk walks with them. As soon as I have shaken my pesky cold, I will hit the gym again and I am so happy that my husband is a keen bush walker and expedition leader! We explored the Blue Gum Forrest in the lower Blue Mountains yesterday. It was a 6 hour hike and the descent into the valley was 900m. When we started in the morning, it was 2 degrees Celsius, encountered snowflakes, rainbows, severe winds that blew beanies AND ourselves flat to the ground – and endless beauty! DSCN9991DSCN9970DSCN9990

DSCN9966

Work

I am not sure what’s happening next. I am still teaching one day/ week, and am looking forward to my final term with the girls. Some finished their corsets before the winter holidays, a big sigh of relief, it is achievable to complete such a complex project in our class! A few noises/ vague offers from university… a few ideas for networking to give my ‘career’ an new trajectory (costume or event management) – for the time I am simply happy to have some peace in my cardboard box.

No title

No title… there was a second something I was exited about, so exited, I didn’t want to jinx it by talking about it. Well, we are now 2 days into the 5 day event I have been organising (to the point that it has taken over my life in the last month) and everything has gone swimmingly, I could even go as far as saying that the event has been an absolute success (so far). Here we are at the kick off on Sunday._DSC0004

Adventure in Berrima

Berrima is a tiny historic village in the Southern Highlands, about 150km from Sydney. I had an amazing day there this week. So this is one of the things I was really exited about that I hinted at in my last post.image

image

imageimageA friend’s husband was directing a music video and had asked me to do costume and a bit of production design. He had hired an amazing cinematographer, crew and a lovely actress and worked himself incredibly hard to organise the shoot. So finally the big day came and it was wonderful to work with a group of creative people towards a common goal, think on your feed, get stuff done.

image

imageimageimageSo there you go – amazing experience, makes me want to go back where I came from – costumes for films, shows… we will see…

Autumn Leaves

It’s not like there isn’t anything to talk about – so much has happened in the last few weeks and so much more is about to happen in the next few weeks… but I am a bit superstitious and am afraid of jinxing what lies ahead.

So in the meantime, while all this exiting and enjoyable stuff is happening I will just post these amazing autumn leaves from a tree in front of my office. Be well.

20150617_112735

Proudly Presenting: The most wonderful top down cardigan

Hi, I will do what I say I will do: presenting proudly the cardigan, top down with fitted sleeves and done, re-done, frogged, ripped and knitted with the stamina of determination. I am over the moon with it!!! image image This project would have been going on since February.

I am so pleased with the entire fit, how the sleeves are fitted elegantly, the lace pattern, the front button band. And the buttons! I love the buttons. I felt like being different, so I grouped them – two together. The sleeves are long enough, and slim enough to fit into a winter coat… everything is perfect. I freaked at blocking stage because all of a sudden (when it was soaked) this cardigan looked enormous… but it shrank again. Phew.

This has been a long weekend, so an extra day to chill and play. On day one I did a 3.5hr dog walk with my husband and it was soooo very nice to catch up, get fresh air and exercise and chill together. 20150606_072948 And to casually come across some very contemporary art by a young, up and coming artist in unexpected places.20150606_075404 20150606_075453 20150606_082159 20150606_082341(0) Then Sunday we mounted an expedition to the Blue Mountains and we did a 16km walk with 4 kids… unbelievable scenery and physical challenge. Technology failed us and no photos are available for this post – but believe me, it was magic! We saw a lyrebird! This is obviously an image from google (technical issues…) – but it is really rare that one can see these in the wild. We were very lucky.We all slept well and had a quiet day today. And a beautiful sunset to finish the day.20150608_172750

Ska

This was going to be a winy post, about the cardigan I ripped, re-knitted, ripped (etc) and now finally finished and it is a little bigger than I had hoped. MAJOR drama in my little life…

BUT NO – there is so much else to share – I went to see the Melbourne Ska Orchestra at the Opera House last night and wow it was fantastic! So much energy and sophisticated stage craft.20150530_222046 20150530_210954 20150530_222105Check out some of their videos. Hilarious.

Guest artist Mojo Juju was also terrific. What an utterly uncompromising performer… inspiring.

When we walked to the train station, we were able to enjoy some of the Vivid light installations. Here are some shots of the Contemporary Art Museum.20150530_225434 20150530_225446 20150530_225450

So here a few images of that cardigan that made me feel all wound up and made me wind up for the next few projects.red cardi drying

So here is the winding up location.winding yarn

Here is some merino 2 plyin the shade of ‘Magnolia’ – it’s going to be a lace shawl that I will knit in tandem with Sue (since I couldn’t even figure how to do that particular cast on…).winding white yarn

And this is the alpaca that I ordered for my gift voucher won at the Knitters Guilt, this shade is ‘Jade’. I was thinking of another small fitted cardigan…Jade Alpaca

And these are my flowers. image

Mothers Day flowers (red roses in the middle) are just about on their way out, last weekend I got a beautiful bunch of Lilys from my husband (just like that…), they are about to open and the closed Lilys are from Little Red Riding Hood (aka Sue) who braved a visit to poor sick me (and Jo) on Friday, despite us having horrific head colds. She DID bring a basket, with fresh home made scones (plain and savory), whipped cream and home made jam – but all was gobbled shortly after her arrival, in any case before way before it could be documented…

I can’t wait for that red cardigan to dry…