Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A rabbit companion...

Here is a little bunny I sewed for a very special little baby girl.  I've been meaning to send her something for some time now but this year seems to have spun by in a blur.  So here is Mabel Rose.  Her introduction letter reads as follows:

Dear Dot,

My name is Mabel Rose.  I love reading Jane Austen novels and drinking restorative cups of camomile tea.  I also enjoy walks in the garden on sunny mornings.  My favourite flower is lavender.  I have a passion for astronomy and love mapping the stars.  As I currently find myself in need of a companion I was hoping I could join you for future adventures.

Yours Sincerely,
Mabel Rose.

I hope she is much loved.

The bunny pattern is from Fiona Dalton's book Hop Skip Jump.  She is made with thrifted plaid suiting, liberty print ears and scarf from some spotty goodness I picked up in Japan.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Boys like skirts too...

Turi had his first 'grown up' ballet class today (we've been going to 'mummy and me' classes for a while but he's finally graduated).  He was so excited and so well behaved.  The only slight hiccup was that he wanted to wear a skirt like all the girls.  I can completely understand where he is coming from.  All the little girls get to wear special ballet outfits with leotards, crossovers and twirly practise skirts while the boys just have to wear black leggings and a white bonds singlet.  He wanted something that felt special.  So I let him wear fairy wings to class today so that he didn't feel too left out.

Which brings me to my point tonight.  Everyone is so caught up with raising their 'non-gender' stereotyped girls that we often forget how narrow the gender expectations are for our boys.

We are going to a friend's wedding on Friday.  I took Minty out shopping and bought her a new dress… velvet with tulle and flapper fringe for extra fantastic twirling.  When we got home she paraded it for Turi and he asked me hopefully, 'do I get one of those too?'  I'm fairly sure that the pair of slacks and shirt that I had in mind isn't going to cut it.  So I took him out shopping today to find something that would meet with his approval.  He whispered to me with excitement, 'I'm going to look fabulous!' and then proceeded to pick out a faux leopard fur vest from the girl's department, some oversized sunglasses and some black shiny gum boots.  Suffice it to say we came home empty handed.  Gender stereotypes aside, I wasn't about to let a child of mine go to a wedding in an ensemble that looked chillingly like something 'Scary' Spice may have worn in the early 90s.  He cried all the way home.

I like to think of myself as a liberal minded parent but the few times I have let Turi go out in a skirt it elicited such alarmed and tortured looks from (I thought) otherwise progressive parents that I'd rather not subject him to that and burst his bubble of innocence.  People's facial contortions generally resemble someone trying to politely swallow an unexpectedly unpleasant mouthful at a formal dinner party. 

Which begs the question what is it about a boy in a skirt that is so unnerving?  And why is boys' fashion so boring?  And even more importantly what on earth is Turi going to wear to this wedding?!?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I liked us better when we all ate sugar… or reasons the internet is exhausting

Pete Evans
Can someone please come over here and activate my almonds, make me some kimchi and a kefir herbal tea?  Failing that, can you stop writing about your sugar free, raw milk, anti-grain, lacto-fermented foods so I can go back to eating my palm oil laden cadbury cream eggs in peace?  I don't really want to know about how you're skipping around in your pre-baby skinny jeans and now have the sex drive of a 16 year old.

I'd rather go back to the days when you posted amazing pictures of triple chocolate cupcakes and mile high cream pies so I can gaze at my food fantasies, instead of writing things that make me feel like I am ingesting some kind of toxic chemical cocktail every time I pour myself a glass of 'pus infested' milk.

Eek rant over.  You know I love you all… please tell me more about your 'journey' to a whole foods kitchen.  

Now I'm off to prepare some vegan, coconut, sugar-free ice-cream and soak some oats for tomorrow's fermented porridge.  No seriously, I really am.

Monday, April 8, 2013

In which our gallery trip is 'not fun'...

I love taking the kids to art galleries so I was really excited to share with them one of my favourite art spaces, the Heidi Museum of Modern Art.  But I'm going to keep it real for you tonight and admit that our trip was a bit of a shemozzle.  

We went to see an exhibition of Fiona Hall's work entitled 'Big Game Hunting'… 'a macabre yet wondrous wunderkammer of trophy-style sculptures of endangered species from the United Nations 'Red List', rendered in military camouflage and embellished with the detritus of contemporary culture'.  Awesome but very enticingly tactile and at child height… eek I'm sorry Fiona but Minty may or may not have walked over your skin rug masterpiece in her dirty shoes… a barrier might have been helpful (just saying).  I spent the entire time reigning Turi back with an iron grip and sharply whispering 'too close' and 'remember NO touching'.  

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it is entirely possible to have an extremely positive experience taking small kids to Heidi.  I had just become complacent after having a series of wonderful trips to other art exhibitions, so I broke my cardinal rules for successful gallery visits with kids (more on this tomorrow).  We drove for over two hours without stopping to get there and the only food I had packed was six apples… rookie mistakes!

We did enjoy exploring the gorgeous kitchen garden and the sculpture garden.  We even attempted to eat a delicious(ly expensive) cupcake at the cafe, sadly cut short by an epic Turi meltdown because he thought I might (god forbid) make him share the said cupcake.

Minty (much to my devastation) declared the visit 'not fun'.  I think we'll have to try Heidi again but next time I'll be more prepared!
 Watching yarn bombing in action.

  At random intervals Turi will spontaneously raise his arms in the air to demonstrate how big he is getting!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

In which we visit the city for a taste of the country...

My mum and I took the kids to the Collingwood Children's farm on Friday.  It was possibly a slightly cooky idea to drive all the way to Collingwood to see a farm when there is a farm over our back fence!  Even crazier to take them during school holidays when it was ridiculously crowded.  Nevertheless we had a good time… despite Turi having his eyes gouged at by another child while he waited in the queue to cuddle a guinea pig!  It's such a gorgeous place.  Highlights were definitely the pigs and geese… but by far my favourite part was watching the heavily made up, upper-class mothers tottering about the mud in their high heels, distractedly clutching their designer hand bags and phones whilst their offspring prodded at the animals with sticks.  A particularly flattering portrait of modern motherhood.

Afterwards we strolled across to the Abbotsford Convent for a macaroon.  A lovely way to end the afternoon.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

In which I question the wisdom of giving chocolate on a Christian holiday when gluttony is considered a sin...

hot cross buns

Am I the only one who has trouble exercising self restraint at easter?  I feel like an alcoholic who has been gifted 10 bottles of vodka under the largely farcical notion that they hold some deeper religious significance.  If anyone needs me in the next few days I will be hiding in the walk in pantry consuming roughly my own body weight in cadbury mini eggs.

I used a Jamie Oliver recipe for my buns this year.  Nigella has consistently let me down the past few years (I suspect maybe she should stick to her talents of giving the camera alluring looks and decorating her kitchen with fairy lights rather than actually writing recipes).  I used half wholemeal flour and nuttlex instead of butter since it was good Friday and I couldn't go to the shops to buy ingredients.  They still tasted excellent.

easter cards
Minty made easter cards and then got too tired to write on them.

origami easter rabbit baskets

I made some origami easter bunnies (instructions here).  Honestly these are quite time consuming and probably not worth the effort.  I planned to make more but couldn't be bothered.  Like mother like daughter.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter

Me: what part of 'no more today' do you not understand?
Minty: the chocolate part

tissue paper dyed egg
I coloured these eggs using tissue paper (I used this water-colour tissue paper but regular tissue paper should work as long as it's not colour fast).  You just wet little strips of the paper and wrap them around the egg.  Leave the eggs to dry for about 2 hours then take off the paper.  I rubbed a little oil on them to make them look glossy.

ombre dyed egg
To create the ombre effect - I sat the eggs in a container so they were 1/4 covered in dye then added more water at 10minute intervals covering another quarter of the egg each time.

Happy Easter everyone!