Calling upon our super powers

I have had to call upon my super powers as the new change of pace has really been a shock to my routine. I have gone from groundhog day of everything being the same for two months to working as an educator with 3, 4 and 5 year old little people. Whew it has been exhausting but I know what centres me and makes me happy is crafting while I am away from my studies or work.

Now that I am finished with the garage organisation for our move in 3 months!! I have bags of stuff to donate and have already sold some fabric on Marketplace. My other projects of selling my vintage clothes collection is at my Etsy shop and I soon will be adding my beaded creations below once I have given them a road test when I go to work and see if they are up for the challenge of a day out at work with children.

I have now completed an induction for my part time job and seem to be getting into the swing of getting up early to be at work by 8am. Which is fine as I am a morning person. This beautiful rainbow was created by the kindergarteners at the head office which I knew of the location as it was the end of the train line. The building had a great view of the city in the distance. So this week was a bit crazy and I have been doing extra shifts as a cold has to be treated as COVID and my co-educators have been stuck at home recovering and waiting for their test results – which are negative, whew!!

So while I have been having a nice amount of downtime in between work and cooking amazing seasonal dinners with food from CERES I have been making. I bought some Fimo to make mobiles when in isolation but I later decided I would make some beads and it has been so fun to play with clay again. I really love making the beads and also some earrings with the mix of colours. I reckon they make great gifts and I can also gather up a supply for a local market – yay! I have always wanted to try to combine my textiles crafting with clay and these are the perfect combo to jazz up a winter outfit.

After cleaning out my fabric stash down to one big box, I found this gorgeous cat fabric that I had made into a dress for Miss H and now that she is too big for it I cut it up and pieced it together for a skirt for another year or so I reckon and then it can be passed onto another cat lover!

As I am getting used to this new routine with going to work and time at home, I am making sure that the free time I have now is not wasted so my plan is to needle felt a cardigan in rainbow, do some knitting on the knitting machine, make a spring dress, finish a baby hat for my friend and continue to create with clay. Now that I have dug out my supplies I plan on getting busy and creating for the next couple of weeks before Uni starts up again in the second week of the kids school holidays.

There will be many more opportunities to photograph sand castles, children’s paintings and their creations when I am at work to document my learning on my teaching blog. Documentation and reflection is so important where I am learning so much from the experienced teachers at my work, it is so good to be working again in something I enjoy!

Isolation in the time of COVID-19

Rainbows have been making me happy and here is our rainbow created for the rainbow trail, where kids around our neighbourhood spot rainbows on their walk with their parents. Miss H added a cat to ours as sometimes you may spy a cat or two on our balcony. Life inside last week was pretty challenging as I was studying in our bedroom as my study space by the fridge is a popular area, so now my study zone is in the lounge and our lounge is a shared space out the back with the kitchen and dining area which works really well! It has been so hard to focus on study as there is so much going on with the kids now on holidays and everything else out in the world has been full on. We are staying in and only going out for food and today I went out for an acupuncture appointment to help with the anxiety of the situation.

No one can escape a pandemic and my time on social media has limited as I love to see what my friends have been doing but there is also a dark side that you can get sucked into with so much false news articles out there. So I have made a decision to minimise my news by checking with reliable sources such as The Conversation or The Guardian to see what is going on. Of course the relevant state and federal health government websites and the World Health Organisation What’sApp have been super helpful navigating through the plethora of information. Plus minimising my time to a max of 30 minutes and then making a cup of tea to help digest it all!

There has also been a couple of sewing projects as the children finished school last Tuesday, a week early before their easter break. So the kids created their own schedules of what they wanted to do during the day such as bass practice, game design, drawing, calligraphy, sewing projects and of course game breaks! Miss H made an eye mask and we made bias binding with the help of a YouTube video. And as it was Miss H’s birthday I found some super cute Pusheen fabric for a circle skirt made with the help of a fabulous tutorial.

I also had some outside time in the sunshine up on the hill 😀

We have had a lot of active time in the kitchen with plenty of home cooked meals with the kids helping me in the kitchen in the evenings with chopping up veggies, making a salad and basic food prep. From the top we had a freekeh salad to mix up some new grains, black refried bean tacos on la tortilleria tortillas – so good!, looking forward to trying the warm earth bread, vegan ramen and Miss H made a delicious vanilla vegan cake for her birthday.

The bonus staying at home all the time is the time with our cats!! And as I have an empty calendar I can sit around with a cat on my lap and watch some Vimeo videos. They have been superstars as there is always an excuse to take pictures of our cats. In the evening for family time the latest time together has been playing Mario party on the Nintendo Switch. It is such a great collaborative game and each day I am learning new gaming skills or picking up some tips from the kiddos – it is the best family time.

Overall this is a time in our life that we have to stay at home to stay well, it does have its positives of family time and learning to live together in harmony. This all means creating flexible schedules to form a framework for the day and have the bonus of having family game time later in the day. For me, my Uni time has been relegated to the side but with only one subject I am trying to get in blocks of time to stay on top of my readings and assignment preparation – I am thankful the subject is Arts Education. I need to have things that bring me joy in this situation and stay atop the anxiety that is in the air. There is plenty to do at home and the important thing is to be flexible with my time and schedule in daily exercise.

A week full of farewells

What a week it has been, there has been so much happening and it is only the first week of December. I have ridden the emotional rollercoaster of saying goodbye to the friends I have met here. Thinking about my time here when I knew no one at the beginning of our time here to now where I have had celebrations from Saturday with friends. To saying farewell to a week of many lasts – I did my last sewing workshop at the local library to the hardest being my last class of teaching sewing to the kiddos at our amazing school community. The picture above is artwork gifted to me from a friend in my dance class saying we are just a straight line away! 

Last week I did a tote bag workshop at the library with my friend G who will be taking over the class from me. I am so happy to have her taking over as she is so creative and will have some fabulous projects in the future. We also did the felt ornaments workshop last Monday and that was a fun one with all of these beautiful ornaments the library community made. 

It was so hard to keep it together for my final Arts Focus class yesterday as I have been involved with the program for the 9 years we have been at our school. It is such an incredible program run by parent volunteers who teach different classes of 27 Kinder to 5th-grade kids. I feel this program is what motivated me to start my teaching degree which I totally love. Our community project of the quilt is super cool and the kids are given the opportunity to buy it at the silent auction. The LED cuff in the centre was made by a Kinder with thanks to a new teacher and volunteer who helped make it happen. Yesterday with the last class I made a video of the pipe cleaner dolls with a cool projector and tablet straight to the massive LCD TV in the classroom so the kids could see what was happening – I just love the technology. It works so well as I am about to hand in two video resources for my assignment that I made for the Australian Curriculum for digital technology and design and technology for the subject Teaching Science and Technology. I am always amazed at what the kids make and how creative they are, with this experience I have a feeling that this is something that I will want to do once I graduate. 

I also said goodbye to my friends at Top Hair and Nail – a sanctuary where I go to for some pampering and relaxation. Here is my cool hairdresser Toy and there I am out with my new do at a bar on Thursday night celebrating our first session of Arts Focus for the school year and my final session for Arts Focus, so sad but I am also happy for the kids who had sewing with me and how much fun we had together. 

The bittersweet emotion that is manifesting from the move home to Australia is intense but I feel that we are connected to each other by our little machines and we can always see what we are all up to. My good friend in Melbourne mentioned that I will keep in touch with my peeps even though we will be so far away and with some luck, we will have visitors coming to Melbourne to say hello! I have been crying so much and feel a deep love for the community I have built here and saying farewell is way better than saying goodbye. I have received so many beautiful comments from my friends here and it will be strange not to be living in the Valley but now it is time to write a new chapter of our life with our family. 

What does this yellow bench represent? Well, the remodel of our yellow and blue house in Melbourne. It is getting there as we spoke to our architect and the structural engineer is working on the plans and then tendering for a builder will happen in February and here’s to a smooth transition to build phase and the building can start in March/April. For now, the interior scheme is wonderful with a garden that reflects our being with fluffy native grasses and an entertainment area. So with all that planning underway I will wait patiently and be ready for the next phase of the building – yippee!

But first, the big move to Australia and a rental property for the next 12 months, then get the kids settled into the school (which I am sure they will love) and for me studying in the background and recreating a network. It is quite overwhelming but I am breaking the to do list down and this weekend I need to start packing for the summer and the next 4 months until our stuff arrives. Currently, the Melbourne weather is 36 degrees Celsius (96.8 degrees F), its gonna be hot – I cannot forget the swimsuit!!