Back home by the beach

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The trip I have patiently been waiting for has arrived, and I am now back at home with my family. It is so good to be at home with everyone and being at a place where my feet feel firmly planted on the ground – this is the place where my roots feel the most grounded and somewhere I belong. It is funny when you go back home you really appreciate the depth of family love and experience that can never be replicated even by close friends. That is the hardest thing I find living miles away from my family.

I am creating experiences and memories for my kids with bringing them to this place we call home – a place where they can enjoy the freedom and the friendliness of this wonderful country. I have been enjoying walking along the beachfront every day and saying hello to the people passing by. This alone is something the children really love, and they ask me, “do you know that person”, and it is always a no, but here in Australia, people don’t mind saying hello to each other as it does not cost a thing. In the USA this was hard for me to get used to – being in a place where even in the same apartment complex everyone is way too busy even to say a Good Morning. I am used to it now after being there for 10 years, and you just acclimate to whatever is the norm of the culture you are living in – eventually.

Walking along the beach and the rocks with or without shoes have been just beautiful as it is so relaxing and quiet around here away from the rushed life of the everyday. The red cliffs of Redcliffe have such a variation in colour, and I am looking at them in a new light and enjoying the patterns and formations.

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The incredible food is one of my fave things when coming home and enjoying Smoked Tasmanian Salmon over a quinoa rice bowl with locally grown avocados and salad with the newfound seeds and flavours of Dukkah.

In my wanderings around the neighbourhood, I finally found some frangipani even though it is the middle of winter. The sunrise and sunsets have been absolutely breathtaking in the big Australian skies. And I found a cocoon of the case moth a caterpillar who travels with his cocoon wherever they go – I have not seen one of these for ages!

When we come here we enjoy going to the library to source out some new books, I found ‘This Changes Everything’ by Naomi Klein that I have been wanting to read for ages. No way will I be able to read this by the end of next week, but it has been fascinating. Next to the library is a gallery space and this time there was a quilting exhibition that I could not resist going to so I said to my Mum and Dad I will just be 5 minutes and 15 minutes later my Dad was saying its time to go now! They were with Missy who had said to them this happens all the time, my mum likes to talk to people and she was right, I really enjoyed chatting to a couple of the ladies who were part of the quilting collective, and we talked quilts and fabrics. Such a great opportunity to share information about fabric stores and sewing techniques and one day I will make my own quilt too! Afterwards, Mum wanted to go to the bakery – a real Aussie bakery complete with custard and neenish tarts, vanilla slices and fresh sausage rolls, that was worth leaving the exhibition for!

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I am getting used to the new face of Redcliffe with its cinder block base house construction, big window houses overlooking the sea. From what I can see the blocks of land are gigantic with a double block property a few houses down from this place currently for sale at over $3 million dollars. Though it is evident that the blocks of land are subdivided and smaller, taller properties are built and sold in a very contemporary house design that maximises space. Still, it is always good for inspiration to wander new neighbourhoods for ideas!

A piece a week – A Summer Top

I found at some stretch fabric at FabMo recently and I thought to make a summer top – my wardrobe is lacking cute tops these days so I am on a mission to find the perfect one. So I found this book Casual Sweet Clothes when I was shopping at Powells book store in Portland – their collection of craft books cannot be beat. This is a Japanese pattern book that has really interesting basic wardrobe pieces to wear with jeans – my utilitarian wardrobe these days with the kids. The Japanese sewing books have so many patterns in them and if I can find 5 I like then the book makes up for the cost of a pattern. To copy the patterns you have to trace them onto kraft paper or whatever paper you have available (I save the brown packing paper and iron it and it is perfect for sewing patterns). This top is very easy construction and quite fun to make and learn new stitches like blind hemming on my sewing machine! I am now on a mission to create more pieces from this super cool Japanese pattern book!

Back view of the top – lovely draped sleeve!

I added silver seam binding to the neck – what a discovery seam binding is for stretch fabrics!

Hanging out with Mack

Captured my baby girl Bella!

Last Saturday we were meeting long lost friends / neighbors of ours for a hike but as we underestimated time from our Scouting event in San Bruno to Wilder Ranch, Santa Cruz we met for brunch at Whale City Bakery in Davenport, just down the road from the scheduled hike! This place is a find for it’s bakery with all their goodies made from scratch. This eclair from their case of goodies was delicious and looking at their pastry case I could have eaten much more but I went for an omelet with an english muffin for brunch and it was perfect with their chai tea. Afterwards we wandered across Highway 1 to the beach and explored for a little while. This beach is popular for local campers – though hauling your stuff down the cliff does not look appealing to me but I am sure it will be beautiful and quiet at night with the added bonus of being free to camp!!! Anyway I took some pictures of the landscape and turned them into clothing – I just love the textures!

Amazing eclairs at Whale City Bakery in Davenport

Textured leggings with rocks and tags 
Graffiti rock 
Looking down into a tunnel that led to a forest of trees!

Sunday we went over to Oakland for a day trip to visit the Cat Town Cafe and have brunch at a Jamaican place down the road. It was a lovely hour with the cats up for adoption at $50 each or $75 for two with their shots and their microchip all ready to go. I love the time we spent there and the kids enjoyed themselves too. It was $10 for the hour with snacks and coffee outside the cat enclosure while you are waiting for your appointment – I really recommend booking ahead on the weekend at their website as it is very popular. 

Hanging in a cat tree using Oakland Architecture

You beautiful kitty pooping rainbows!

This week at school flew by with Market day on Thursday! Market Day at our school is a day where the kids make up projects in class and sell them for pony beads. Everyone gets 2 pony beads to work their “stall” for 15 minutes for their class. It is a wonderful morning out and the theme for the 1st grade class was a cardboard arcade, inspired by the Caine’s Arcade video. This is a peacock ride that cost 3 pony beads – made from cardboard and painted by Team Peacock and rolled upon a child’s sled engineered by one of our parents to make it safe for the kiddos to ride upon! Pulling the kids around the loop was quite a workout – volunteering and exercise what a score!

Wanna ride the peacock?