Holidays, house and assignments done!

The last few weeks have been a bit of a blur with having to write 3 assignments! I am finally done with the assignments and at my last week of Uni now just wrapping up some readings and I will have a break for a month, yipee!! It is quite an achievement that I worked through 3 units and have come out at the end of the three weeks in one piece and not too frazzled.

Our house has finally moved on from a hole in the ground, to the black membrane which separates the concrete and now finally a massive concrete foundation, better get my skates on and start rollerskating!

As I was in full on study mode it was good to have Sunday brunch with some friends at South Wharf, I had no idea where it was in the city but it was a beautiful morning out. We were right next to the tall ship Polly Woodside – that I will have to take the kiddos out to one day!

It was James birthday week and I organised a little getaway on the Monday before his birthday – again, another study break but oh so worth it. It was the first day of the school holidays for the kiddos too! We all loved it as it was a totally meditative experience as you had to walk really slow so you did not get rained on. The immersive experience of the Rain Room was so cool as walked you stayed dry and even looking around you the rain was there and you were in your protected area with no rain. It was such an amazing experience with fantastic technology and art!

And here is the birthday dude with is cake made by me and decorated by Miss Hol with white chocolate hand drawn cat decorations with Happy Birthday stuck in the cake. Of course for a special dinner, I made a smoked salmon and goat cheese quiche and a pumpkin and cheddar quiche with a beautiful Pinot Noir wine from the Mornington Peninsula.

And to wrap up my week, Grammarly sent me my writing stats and man that is a lot of writing since I started Uni over 1 million! I reckon I looked that that cat by the time the last 12 weeks were over, my eyes bugging out of my head.

Springing in the sunshine!

The week began last week with some celebrations with our neighbour from Mountain View coming over for dinner (Tess lived right across the path from us and we did cat sitting for each other). Back in Mountain View, we had a couple of dinners with a savoury salmon pie, so I said to my friend, “come on over to our place in Melbourne, for some salmon pie and whatever treat you would like!” And the treat ended up being a special request with a pavlova decorated by Missy, our future baker. We did cheat a little by buying the base as the oven in this rental property is very unpredictable. We all enjoyed the Pav as a finale to our feast with a special Aussie wine with the name of Petaluma to remind us of California!

At the end of last week I went to secure my practicum placement at a local community kindergarten. It is perfect with an amazing outdoor space and an open plan indoor space and I will be working with the 4 year olds. Apparently in December just before Christmas all the kids go a bit cray cray as they are excited to start primary school and reckon they are big kids! I a thrilled as it is a 15 minute bike ride away from our house and I am pretty excited to be working in early childhood. Before I went to the kinder I had a magpie come and swoop me on my bike, now when I approach the kinder I have to walk my bike. Here is a little know fact, maggies remember their victims, and as I was leaving the maggie came flying at me. I was walking my bike across the road with my bag on my head, then we just looked at each other and I think she realised I would not harm her nest. Her red eyes were intense I have to say they are still one of my favourite birds – they have the best song.

After my ride to the kinder I went to take my bike in for a service and by the time I arrived it was time for lunch, so I had a treat of a lunch out at Small Block and came home to do some Uni work. Later that arvo Sam from Bikes Please called and said my bike was ready for pick up – I have to say it is a dream to ride now with its new brakes and shiny chain! Riding home see the pics above of what spring is doing in Melbourne πŸ˜€

My hubby went our house to see the concrete in our yard last week. See those big boulders, the excavator could not move them so has had to work around them and just pour the concrete in between adding another $9K to the bill – hopefully now that we have dealt with “the ground”, the future surprise costs will be minimal!!

Whilst my hubby went to our house, I was enjoying my volunteer shift at the farmers market gate and welcoming the community and patting the dogs in the sunshine. It certainly is a pretty sweet volunteer gig as I enjoy chatting to the locals. I found some amazing shiitake mushrooms and fermented garlic there and tasted some water kefir. Every time I go there there is always amazing finds! This is the rice bowl I made with the mushrooms and the garlic, with roasted SMALT BBQ Rub (my friends amazing company!!) chick peas, roasted tarragon pumpkin and topped with hemp seeds – it was absolutely divine.

Creative freedom

Now I am back into the swing of things as a solo parent and last week was quite a doozy. The week started off well with a little feature on Instagram which was cool! After that, I enjoyed an excellent week of just creating with my overlocker and sewing machine and fabric to repurpose.

Midweek my son was sick with a tummy bug which we all got by the end of the week which was bad! Which made our weekend was a complete bust and time for recovery. My mission last week was just to create as much as I could as I have not had an opportunity to just make freely for a very long time. Back in California every time I had a spare moment it was spent organising the move back to Australia, so this was my chance!

So I went down to the local Dimmeys and found some cheap clothes that could be cut up and recreated into something else. At the moment travelling to find a fabric store sucks up time, so this was a random Plan B. This plan worked and I found some overstock jeans from a USA fast fashion label for $10, a big black t-shirt $4 and a plain black skirt for $3. The jeans have been screen printed and made into pillows for my lounge – I had to grab another denim skirt for $9 and repurpose that to complete a pair of pillows. I am finishing the third pillow using the top of the skirt with the button and zip which needs a bit of hand sewing with strong button thread.

The black t-shirt has been used for the top of a dress I am finishing with a fair amount of hand sewing before it is complete. I am still working through some ideas as I have really enjoyed just finding my patterns, cutting and sewing away without any real thought of consequence or deliberation for example when I use expensive fabrics. It is such creative freedom!

Today I went out for lunch with my friend and we had a delicious lunch together at East Elevation, in Lygon St, Brunswick East. We were first introduced to this place via coffee and my friend wanted to check out the food today. I enjoyed a plate full of mushrooms and goat cheese on rye (I am missing mushrooms as I would be the only person eating them in the house at the moment – so it is a treat) with an amazing Flat White. The inside space is amazing as from the outside is a big red door and surprise when you walk in, its a massive warehouse space with plants everywhere which I just love! We will have to check it out again sometime soon and see their quails and bees and chocolate factory!! πŸ˜€ This stunning flower is part of a display designed by a bespoke floral studio,Β ceciliafox it’s a Berzelia albiflora a Native to South Africa. I love the discovery of interesting finds that have many secrets behind their doors.

Hello, shit show!

Another week has gone by an maybe I should be laughing and feeling so happy but instead, I am slowly being driven insane by the children and annoying things that do not work! Today I have dealt with trying to connect the internet in my lil old house and instead of being able to plug the cable in and getting it going I am dealing with a truly incompetent company who is the telecommunications giant known as Telstra. They are absolutely useless and I have wasted so much time and money trying to get my internet sorted in a timely manner. It is so frustrating and I understand that this is an old house and the phone line needs to be activated to use an ADSL modem but there was a problem with the exchange but when the Telstra tech (contractor paid $71 a call) came by to connect my modem – he waved at a couple of wires and off he went. I had to pay an independent technician to look and see if there is a problem with the line on the premises or outside and that was not cheapWTF! We had cable in the States as we did not have a direct link to ADSL and it was always good and it felt like the superhighway compared to the shit internet service here in Australia that is driven by politics and it is so, so sad! I just wish they would get themselves together and think of the future and how good it could be if they were not bickering over fibre optic and copper cabling, such a shit show.

I need a good cuppa tea after all that craziness – I am having to use the hotspot on my phone to connect to the outside world which is lucky. At least when I am at my house there is a bunch of stuff to sort through and find such as this peaceful prose. I love the meditation reference to using a pedal sewing machine, We simply let it be. Aaah if it was not for meditation I would be very, very mad.

Going through my stuff has been quite fun but there is so much crap to sort through and donate, give away or recycle. I found so many sewing patterns and whittled them down to just a few but hopefully they will fit me still! The dollar bill has a hummingbird on it which connects to my love of those little hummers. Plus it was so good to find pictures of artwork from a show I did with my sister many moons ago, I had screen printed bags and made them for the art exhibition. I remember selling a few but not all of them, the cat/fox screen print was pretty cute and my fave is the “earth astronaut” screen print on the multicoloured bag.

As I was going through bits and pieces before we moved back to our place to settle I found these great illustrations Ash had made at the NGV of his best friend Mack – our beloved cat who passed away a couple of years ago. This home in Melbourne is where he lived with us when we had carpet throughout the house and he and Scrappa hung out together with baby Ash.

Oh and what a find, today as I was looking for some more crockery I found an old box of silverware – this is my dream set of cutlery and I was very excited to find them. They belonged to my father in law (who passed away 10 years ago). They were in a big box full of a set of fancy crockery with illustrations of farm animals and right at the bottom was this box of silverware – now my dream of owning a lovely cutlery set has come true!

Just two weeks until my next assignment is due but with the palaver of all the crap with the internet and moving back and forth from my friends housesit to our place plus helping the kids hook up DVD players and VCRs life has been full. The kids will be back at school on the 31st so I am looking forward to a routine so I had better get my arse into gear and make shit happen so I can get that assignment worth 30% of two lesson plans uploaded to Uni.