Nov 10, 2014

A Walk Around Invermay

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My first assignment for my new course was just to go for an 'awareness walk' around my town and take photos of my observations. I do this all the time, so I thought it would be easy, but I walked around for about an hour without having taken a single photo. I really love the suburb I live in. I grew up in the middle of the bush, so I never thought that I would love living in houses side by side, but I do. I have the loveliest neighbours and there is a big park called Heritage Forest five minutes from my house that has a playground, outdoor gym equipment, trails, a picnic area and a dog park. It's a five minute bike ride into the city, 4 minutes to uni and 10 minutes ride to my work. The houses here are mostly lovely old federation cottages with sweet little gardens. People seem to care about living here and take care of their homes and gardens and say hello when you walk by.

I was hoping I'd get to photograph some of the (seemingly hundreds) of cats that live in Invermay sunbathing, but they mustn't have been feeling photogenic today. C has a hashtag on Instagram he uses to document all of the neighbourhood cats #catsofinvermay. Anyway, here are some photos I took on my walk.

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I was taking photos of the bees in the lavender bush outside someone's house and they pulled up outside in their car and gave me an odd look and I was like "Uh, I'm just taking photos of the bees" and they were like "Mhmmm".

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There are also two really great opshops a minutes walk from my house. A big plus.

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I'd love to see some photos of your neighbourhood if you feel like doing an awareness walk too. Link me!

Nov 9, 2014

Worn | I Love Yellow

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I recently borrowed a tripod from my uni so that I could film myself working on a painting. I set up the tripod really high above my desk in the perfect position, with my camera on it and left it for a few days before I wanted to start painting. When I came back to it, I moved my desk slightly and the tripod fell, hard. And my lens broke. Bah, bum. And replacing it is $200 that I don't have. So I've reverted back to using my beaten up old Canon for these photos. It was my first time using a tripod/taking photos of myself by myself. It felt very narcissistic and I was worried my neighbours might be able to see me. I only lasted four photos. Here are the four photos. I also probably should have ironed my shirt.

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I also wanted to mention that I've started a new course! Already! Yay, no break! It's a Diploma of Design through the Tractor Design School in Melbourne (online). I'd like to write a little bit more about that in a post soon. I am really enjoying it so far. I wore this outfit today while I took some photos on an 'awareness walk' around my neighbourhood for the first assignment. It was quite windy. Did my skirt blow up and show my undergarments several times? Yes it did.

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Nov 8, 2014

List | Things I'm Worried About

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+  Am I watering my house plants enough (or, am I watering them too often?)

+ Even though I just had a really good time hanging out with someone, do I need to analyse every single thing I said over and over again in my head for the rest of the day until I'm sure everything I said was embarrassing and I never want to see that person again?

+ Where have my cats been during the day and what have they been doing?

+ Am I going to be a really good designer/illustrator and make a career out of it (or should I just concede defeat early and commit to working at a supermarket for the rest of my life)?

+ Various and assorted 'mum guilts': e.g. Am I feeding Theo varied enough foods? Should I be reading to him more often? Does him having a tantrum mean he's going to have ADHD? What did he just put in his mouth? Am I spending enough time with him? Why doesn't he know how to say mum yet? Does he love me?

+ Have my cats peed on the pile of clothes in my bedroom that I'm too lazy to put away?

+ Is this migraine really a brain tumour?

+ Is Tony Abbott going to ruin everything I hold dear. And, if so, what kind of world will Theo grow up in? What can I do about it?

+ Will I ever get to go overseas? Am I not cultured for not having travelled? Will travelling make my life more meaningful?

+ Do my cats love me or do they just hang out in my house because I give them food?

+ Will we stop Ebola?

+ Do I need to get a Dachshund? Why are their legs so short?

+ Do I love my husband as much as he loves me? Does my husband love me as much as I love him?

+ Is there lipstick on my teeth?

+ Why do I always stay up way too late? How can I stop doing that? Is staying up late taking a toll on my health?

+ Should I just stop doing everything I'm doing and go off and become an aid worker?

+ Is worrying about these things simply a ridiculous example of first world problems?

+ Am I going to finish uni? Done as of this week!

+ What are you worried about?


Oct 31, 2014

Just A Minute | October

This month...

Husband and toddler are away for two weeks, I'm at home with horrible pain in the back of my pelvis (left over ailment from pregnancy), dosed up on codeine, so thought I'd treat myself to a fancy new Bush radio so that I can listen to Radio National, layi
I bought myself a fancy new radio. I really like to have it on all day while I do things around the house. I mostly listen to Radio National (and sometimes they read out my tweets and I feel famous for five seconds, haha). It makes me feel more connected with the world, but it's not like having the TV on constantly - I can just kind of drift in and out of paying attention to it. My favourite shows are The Inside Sleeve, 360 Documentaries and This American Life.

I'm a bit obsessed with this waratah tree in my backyard. So beautiful.
Our waratah tree bloomed and looked rather fantastic. They're finished now and I'm rather sad about it! They would have to be my favourite flowers. I've gotten really into gardening over the last few weeks. It is a nice mindful ritual for me and it seems to give more meaning to the passing of time - watching the plants changing over the passing of only a few days - there is a huge iris at my front door that seemed to pop up over night!

#atticuskitty & #babyjagoe sitting in the sun today
Atticus and Theo spent some time in the backyard soaking up the afternoon sun.

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I moved our bedroom around and now our bed gets the loveliest afternoon sun and C, Theo, the cats and I spent many an afternoon laying on the bed enjoying each other's company. Theo enjoyed the cats company most. The cats tolerated Theo's company!

I did justify buying this book while opshopping today though.
I've been going to the opshops occasionally and looking at the old books for inspiration. I found this old book about budgerigars and loved the illustrations.

Things I saw and liked while opshopping today but didn't buy. Opshops are so expensive these days!
There are lots of things I don't buy at the opshop that I like ($$$) but I like to document them anyway.

"Stay still so I can take your picture" "Never!" #babyjagoe
A latergram from a week or two ago. Urgh, I miss him so much! Two weeks is too long! #babyjagoe
This boy just makes me smile and laugh so much. This is the best age. It is a joy to be his mother. He is so uplifting and picks up new things every day. Last week he started saying "Uho!" when he dropped something and I thought it was so funny and wondered where he's gotten it from (I never realised it was something I said a lot!). Though his vocabulary isn't huge, he can understand directions ("Go get your ball and bring it to me") and when you ask him if he wants something he'll say "Nup!". Urgh, I love him so much!

Two essays and a podcast to do by the end of the weekend. Less than a month left until I'm finished my degree. Want to sleep through weekend.
I spent a lot of time in my studio writing essays. I am so glad to be rid of them forever!

How am I meant to concentrate on my uni work when there's a cute boy giving cat massages outside my door #babyjagoe #tintinkitty #mescakitty
While sitting in my studio in our backyard I would often look out to the garden and see this boy watering plants, running in circles around the clothes line, throwing things into the pond or giving the cats massages(?).

My boys sitting in the sun in their jammies #babyjagoe @xavcob
As my classes came to an end part way through this month, I so enjoyed getting to be at home spending more time with my boys. There is such beautiful sun in our yard, you just find yourself out there several times a day. The boys flew off to NSW last week for a two week holiday with family and I miss them so much! I'm back at home finishing my uni work and going to work.

Today #babyjagoe learnt how to pick his nose.
This month Theo also learnt how to pick his nose, haha.

My new kitchen dresser I found at the opshop. Still deciding what colour to repaint it. Thinking pastel green?
I found this kitchen dresser at the opshop (I'd been searching for the perfect one for months) and have been deciding what colour to paint it. I'm thinking pastel green? Once my uni work is over I am going to run around the house like mad painting all of the furniture.

Man on a mission #babyjagoe
This guy is a man on a mission. Being cooped up in his pram makes him quite grumpy and he must be free to wander!

Tea for one.
This is probably my favourite spot to sit in our house and I've spent a lot of time sitting here since Theo & C left - looking out over the garden, drinking Licorice Legs tea and painting or reading. C and I often make little complaints about the compact size of our home, but I think it has so much charm and I love it's cute little spaces, like this dining nook.

There is a path down the side of our house that we rarely use. I always forget that lovely things grow down there.
There is a path down the side of our house that we rarely use and the other day I walked down there and spotted lots of huge roses flowering. Rather lovely.

Listening | Serial, This American Life, Mary Lambert & CW Stoneking.
Watching | Sherlock, Broadchurch & Grand Designs. And I also took a great Skillshare lettering class by Mary Kate McDevitt which I really enjoyed.
Reading | It Chooses You - Miranda July.
Making | Uni work. Essay writing and painting, painting, painting! I have my easel set up on my kitchen table with all of my paints and I have been doing seven hour painting days while I listen to Radio National.
Purchasing | A fancy new Bush radio.
Looking forward to | My uni work being submitted, starting my new course, painting furniture, working on commissions, gardening and my boys returning to me on the 11th!

How was your month?

Oct 19, 2014

Little Joys

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+ My cat looking at the moon.
+ Freesias & jasmine.
+ Toddlers eating icy poles.
+ The smell of gouache paint.
+ A clean work space.
+ Birds eating nectar.
+ Patting cats on the street.
+ Finishing an assignment on time (for once).
+ Dirty bare feet from playing in the yard.
+ Theo's dancing.
+ A cool breeze.
+ House plants.
+ Maple syrup.
+ Old books with lovely colour illustrations.
+ A bag of herbs left on your doorstep from a neighbour.
+ Funny little compliments from strangers ("I love your bag! It's pretty and shaped like a heart, just like you! I hope you have a wonderful life!" - Drunk French man at work).
+ Learning new skills (I'm a bit addicted to Skillshare).
+ Eating vegan cheesecake on the floor at Holly's house, reading her collage books.
+ A street fiesta.
+ Babycino moustaches.
+ Theo laughing at dogs we pass in the city (and pointing at them calling them cats).
+ More hours of sunlight in the day.
+ Waking up with a cat asleep on your belly.

I've got a little bit over two weeks until my folio for my degree is due. I'm making okay progress and I think I'll get it finished in time to a standard I'm happy with. C and Theo are going away to NSW for two weeks next Friday and I've not spent that amount of time by myself for about 5 years, so it will be interesting to see how I go. I do have to admit that C had to teach me how to use our washing machine (he always does our washing) and I'll have to learn how to make my own coffee in the morning. I have a kind of learned helplessness, where I've gotten so used to C doing certain things, I feel like I wouldn't be able to do them myself. But I think it will be good for me to spend some time taking care of myself. I plan on working really hard to finish my uni work, painting my piano (and maybe the ceiling in our lounge room), working on commissions, watching lots of Grand Designs, going to Film Society, gardening and rearranging furniture in our house. I am going to miss those boys so much, but they will be having a lovely time staying with family and going to the beach. Theo is going to love hanging out with his cousins so much and C is going to enjoy actually getting to have more conversations with adults and playing squash (his brother runs a squash court).

I really love this time of year. It seems kind of cliche to say so, but I can't help but feel positive when the end of the year approaches, the weather starts getting warmer and the days get longer. This year I feel like I've developed a lot as a creative person and I feel a lot more confident in myself. Since I was a kid a lack of self confidence and self esteem has stopped me from doing a lot of things, so it has been nice to push past some of that this year and feel proud of my achievements.

I might not get a chance to post again until my folio is finished, but I look forward to being on the other side of that due date and being able to post more often.