Lilly as Hermione Granger

Today was Book Day at school, a day to celebrate and encourage the love of reading, and all of the younger primary grades get to dress up in costume as their favourite book character. Our whole family are a bunch of HP geeks and I was not-so-secretly thrilled when after much deliberation of which character she wanted to be (“all of my friends are going to be Elsa!”), Lilly decided upon Hermione.

lumos! Lilly as Hermione Granger

My little Hermione stood out beautifully in a sea of princess dresses and superheros. I was more than a little proud to overhear her explaining to her friends exactly who Hermione was. I was super happy to see a few little Harry’s running around school too! There is hope yet.

I love that Lilly chose Hermione because I think that Hermione is a great role-model for young girls to have. I love that she is always trying to gain more knowledge and doesn’t believe that to be successful that you have to be the prettiest one, but that it’s what’s inside that matters the most. She is brave and clever and doesn’t apologise for being herself. Those are just a very few of the many things that I hope all of my girls take from her character; that the most important thing is to be you, and everything else will work out.

lilly hermione granger book day

lilly as hermione from harry potter

Lilly has only recently begun reading the series, but she already knows allll about them thanks to the older kids (and we’ve allowed the younger kids to watch the first movie, too – our rule is before you watch the movie, you must read the book, which is great motivation when you don’t want to miss out). Isaiah spent ages teaching Lilly the correct pronunciation of various “spells” (so. cute.) and telling her other bits and pieces of Very Important Harry Potter details in preparation for Book day. Isaiah has nearly finished reading The Half Blood Prince (that kid reads at an insane pace, he’s chewed through books 2 – 6 in the last three weeks) so he knows All The Things about the Wizarding World.

lilly hermione harry potter

I absolutely love, love reading, and to have children who also love to read is one of my favourite things. It is wonderful to be able to watch them read books and see them filled with awe and wonder, as they come to me and tell me of all the amazing things they have just experienced in the book they were reading. There is nothing sweeter than the excitement of reading an amazing book, and I hope they always enjoy reading as much as they do now.

xox Amanda

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lilly rookwood

I have no words lately. Nothing is right.

overgrown graves at rookwood cemetery

tumbled down headstone rookwood cemetery

headstone rookwood

angel face on a headstone

headstone details

lilly at rookwood cemetery

Like always I try to juxtapose the dark and the light. Happy, sad. Beautiful, ugly.

gravestones at rookwood necropolis

rookwood necropolis

This place has fascinated me for so many years. I see the beauty in the overgrown, the tumbled down, the broken and crumbled and lost and forgotten.

Piper rookwood

headstones at rookwood cemetery

details

details

hidden parts of rookwood necropolis

piper rookwood

xox Amanda

 

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a handknit hat

Oh my gosh, I’ve been ridiculously slack keeping up with taking photos and documenting everything that I have been knitting lately. Really, there has been a tonnnn of knitting going on, but not much photo-taking (I’ve been a little burnt out, uninspired, etc, whatever..) so a whole bunch of stuff I don’t even have anymore to show you. I’ve made fingerless mitts for a friend, bunnies and bears, gifts for family, and yet.. I only have a few things to show off. Ah well.

First up is this gorgeous hat for my Papa. He asked me to knit him a hat to wear on his chilly morning walks, and I was so excited and honoured to be asked to do so. My Papa is a fantastic knitter himself, and I have many many fond memories of he and my Nan sitting side by side, working on their knitting. I have a photograph of them together, sitting just like that, and it’s one of my favourites even to this day.

handknit cabled hat honegart

I settled on the Honegart pattern by Stephen West (and may have sparked a slight obsession, shall we say, with all things westknits) with it’s snuggly earflaps and lovely squishy allover cables. Papa wanted it to be blue, and after deliberating over yarn choices for a long long time, I decided on cascade 220 heathers in “Summer Night”. I’m super happy with the yarn and the colour. It worked perfectly for this pattern. The cables show up beautifully and the heathered flecks throughout give it extra depth and interest. The pattern itself was a dream to knit. Really easy and reasonably quick to knit  too. It’s big and loose on me, so hopefully it should fit my Papa perfectly.

earflaps detail with crochet edge

This is also the first time I’ve ever put a crochet edge on a knitted piece. I cannot crochet at all, no matter how many times I’ve tried to teach myself, so I was a bit nervous about attempting the crochet edging. However to my surprise it was ridiculously easy and now I want to add crochet to everything.

cable detail honegart hat

honegart hat handknit

(I may also ever so slightly want to make another one in my size…)

sock knitting bag

And what’s this? A new sock knitting bag! I got the bug the other night to get out my sewing machine again finally and whipped this up quickly.

sock knitting bag with yarn and needles

best friend socks

best friend socks

And socks. Cause, well, do I even need a reason? Always socks. These are for my lovely Bec, and I am knitting myself a matching pair too. Pretty much a basic vanilla sock with stripes just to break up the monotony. I’m using absolutely stunning (and sparkly!!) Countess Ablaze  yarn in the Fake Your Death colourway (love! we both looove MCR so this is the perfect sock yarn for our bff socks), and the creamy-white cuffs, heel and stripes are schoppel wolle admiral sock. These are knitting up sloooowly, and I think it’s partly because Bec has feet two sizes bigger than mine, and because they’re plain. My brain gets bored. But at the same time, my brain enjoys switching off too.

light and up shawl

And last but not least, something for me. This is the Light and Up shawl knit with zauberball sock. I absolutely love the way it came out. The yarn, I think, I love  a little bit more than the pattern. The long colour repeats in zauberball definitely give the shawl it’s “pop” but I also love the way the shawl wraps around with the long dangling points. It’s perfect for throwing on as I rush out the door (I’m always in a rush it seems) and it squishes down super tiny to fit into a bag too. The Light and Up pattern was kind of meditative to knit actually. I started knitting it when I was feeling extremely stressed and upset, and it really helped my mind relax and unwind.

light and up shawl

handknit shawl light and up

handknit shawl scarf

And that sadly is all I have to share for now! What about you? What have you been knitting lately?

xox Amanda

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birthday girl waldorf crown

Five years old today! Oh man. It honestly feels like it was such a short time ago that this little sweetie came into our lives. Hard to believe that at the start of next year she’ll be starting kindy! I asked Zoe some questions about her favourite things today…

Favourite colour: Pink!

Favourite food: Vegemite. Just vegemite. Maybe on sandwiches.

Favourite animal: Polar bears and fish.

Favourite things to do: Playing with horses and dolls and drawing with Lilly.

Favourite drink: Orange juice or water.

When grown-up she wants to: I want to wear jammies that have hello kitty on them and make movies.

What’s your full name?: Zoe… ummm…. it starts with a Zed-zed-zed. I don’t even know the rest!

Favourite place to go?: To the coffee shop with that rabbit on the sign or Craaaaave that is near Nanna’s house.

Zoe on her 5th birthday

in the garden

playing with lalaloopsy horses

Her favourite presents. “These are my babies did you know Mum?”

zoe on her birthday

five years old

handful of glitter

blowing birthday wishes

Make a birthday wish :)

sparkly glitter sprinkles

birthday girl zoe

xox Amanda

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world wide knit in public day 2014

Happy World Wide Knit in Public Day! Well, technically speaking, it’s really world wide knit in public week, since this is now a week-long event. Haven’t heard of WWKIPday before? Check out the official WWKIPday facebook page for more info. You can even find whole group events local to you if you’re lucky and enjoy the company of others knitters (or crocheters, spinners, weavers, or maybe people who just like to buy yarn… you know who you are!)  while bringing attention to our lovely fibrecrafts.

knitting with Piper

knitting at the look out

I knit in the misting rain at the look out for a little while. The view was stunning with low clouds drifting over the mountains behind us. I was knitting on the light and up shawl. This pattern goes so quickly and is so simple to knit. Very calming for my mind. I’m nearly finished it now.

Piper trying to knit

Piper wanted to have a go too. “Me doing my knitting Mama!”. Cuteness. I may just have to get her some of her own chunky needles and yarn to play with. Not that I expect her to knit, but just the experience of holding the yarn and needles, pretending, is joyful.

with bunny amongst the flowers

Couldn’t resist taking a photograph of her perched up there in that lovely spot, hidden out of the rain. So beautiful. And of course, her bunny came with us.

Piper and bunny running

knitting on a picnic table amongst the trees

My little helper. She was holding my yarn for me so it didn’t get wet. Such a lovely yarn too. Zauberball sock. I am in love with the long colour repeats.

Knitting in cafes

Then we moved on a much warmer and cozier spot, my favourite local coffee shop, for a little more knitting and latte drinking.

Daddy and Piper

Did you knit in public today? Will you knit in public this week?

xox Amanda

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foggy winter morning

Everything seems so very quiet and mysterious when the first thing you see outside of your window in the morning is thick blankets of fog. It’s the kind of morning that makes you want to burrow back under the warmth of the covers and enjoy the calm. Instead, I managed to get Piper dressed and ready in record time, dropped the big kids to school, and took a quick drive into town with my camera in tow. Funny how quickly fog disperses once the sun starts to come out. On the drive there you could barely see a few meters down the road, but as I was parking my car, the fog was already slowly lifting.

tamworth winter foggy morning

briar bunny handknit

Her darling briar bunny had to come too, of course.

misty winter mornings

 

collecting the last dry autumn leaves

foggy tamworth morning

collecting autumn leaves on a misty morning

Piper loves to collect leaves wherever we go. Fortunately there are still plenty of leaves on the ground, even if they are mainly dried out and crunchy-brown now.

running on a foggy winter's morning

piper on a winter day

Intrigued by the little sparkles of dew clinging to some long blades of grass. I don’t blame her at all, even at my grown-up age I still find dewdrops to be mesmerising.

autumn leaves in winter

Once the sun really started to break through the clouds the fog, sadly, seemed to disappear almost immediately. One moment we were wrapped in soft grey, the next sunshine was streaming down and we were playing with our shadows.

winter's morning walk

jumping with her shadow

showing bunny the sky

xox Amanda

 

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Piper on the first day of Winter 2014

Autumn has passed me by in a blur and suddenly I find that it is the very first day of Winter. Truthfully, Autumn this year was a bit disappointing. It stayed warm and mild all season except for one very chilly weekend, and even the leaves this year seemed dull in comparison to years previous. Today is wonderfully dark and moody though, rain has been falling steadily, and it is perfectly perfect first day of Winter season weather.

splashing in puddles on rainy days

 

first day of Winter

Piper handknit teddy hat

Perfect weather in fact for snuggling under the covers. Or reading and knitting in bed with a steaming hot mug of coffee. Or you know, wandering around the street in your pjs because your daughter looks so cute and you just have to take some photos but  your pjs are too comfy to want to get changed.

Piper on the first day of winter

floating leaves down the water

cutie in her bear hat

That smile. She kills me with cuteness.

Piper handknit bear hat

running in the rain

Rainy days are my favourite.

first day of winter bare branches

Happy Winter.

xox Amanda

 

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kitten watching the rain

Sometimes words aren’t enough to express your gratitude for the support of people who you have never even met, and of course the support of people you have. Even if I haven’t replied to you personally yet, it’s not for lacking of wanting, it’s simply because I just don’t know what to say. Every word, every comment left, every private message sent to me means so much. 

So since I can’t find the right words, have some photos of Marceline. Maybe they’ll help you smile just like they do for me. 

marcie

adorable kitten with a bow

kitten yoga

marceline kitten with a bow

xox Amanda

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sweet sleeping toddler

I can fake a smile with the best of them, try to drag myself out of bed and pretend to be “normal”, even if it’s only for long enough to make you think I’m really ok. You can tell me to cheer up or get over it or take some time out, but honestly? It does nothing. Some days just breathing is hard. Some days it’s all I can do to roll out of bed instead of just staying under the covers and hoping the whole world disappears. There are days (too many days) when I am small and broken and yet at the same time I am a raging sea, restless and thundering. At times I sink so low and other times I’m flying like a kite, but there’s no in between, no rest.

Lately it’s getting harder to just…be. Hard to fake the smiles, hard to pretend, hard to do anything other than be stuck in my own head. I can’t describe it. I can’t show you what it’s like for someone who has never gone through it. I can only try to hold on while the waters rise around me and try to drag me away.

My beautiful friend Bec told me that she thinks of it like the Dementors from Harry Potter (and of course, I love that because well, HARRY POTTER of course). They just suck everything warm and happy and good of out of the air and there is nothing you can do about it. 

piper and marceline kitten

When I feel seriously down, I try look at photographs of kittens. How silly is that? It helps.. slightly, sometimes. I get sucked in to looking at cute photos and it makes things feel not quite so desperate and the noise in my head calms down. I think of my children and try to be stronger for them. I fails so often, and I feel overwhelmed but still I hold on just as strong as I can. I won’t give in. I won’t drown.

snuggling kitten and toddler

piper and marceline snuggling together

Kittens. Sleeping toddlers. These make me smile.

kitten playing with ballet shoe

piper and marcie

Things will be alright. Have to be alright. Light always follows the dark, doesn’t it?

marceline kitten playing in the sunlight

kitten playing with toy

Yeah.

beautiful sleeping kitten with a bow

xox Amanda

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marceline the vampire queen kitten

This is Marceline, the newest addition to our furry family. Marcie belongs to Jakob and she is seriously the cutest thing ever. She’s only been with us for a day, but we had the pleasure of being able to watch her grow up from the very first moment with almost daily photo-updates from my sister-in-law. Today we of course had to get her into my studio for some proper welcome photographs and oh.my.gosh was she ever adorable!

marceline adorable kitten cat

kitten ready to pounce

Hunting my camera. Of course.

kitten playing

marceline on my handknit cowl

Marcie is already settling in super well. She isn’t phased at all by our other two cats (or our tiny pomeranian). Ophelia and Marcie snuggled together last night, while Winter basically tried to hide all night (she’s a big chicken). She bounds around after the kids and when she gets tired she just flops next to the nearest person for a cuddle.

hiding in the fur cute kitten

marcie hiding in Jakob's hoodie

She quite enjoys being carried around inside Jakob’s hoodie.

kitten lounding in a pile of yarn

Marceline has amazing taste in yarn. It’s Madeline Tosh.

little kitten in a sling flower wreathe

7 week old kitten

Gah. SO CUTE. I seriously love cats. Is there anything better than a cat to cheer you up? I don’t think so. Give me a book, a latte, and and a cat in my lap and I’ll be happy.

marceline the kitten and chewbacca

Can’t be a part of our family unless you like Star Wars. Her Chewbacca toy is bigger than she is!

xox Amanda

 

 

 

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