Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday afternoon....

.... pizza
.... park

.... picnic

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow"

I don't think I'm an optimist by nature and especially given the crazy christmas season I think it's easy for me to become one of the whingy, whiny, baa hum bug christmas crabbies. So to try and overcome this I recently uploaded the gratitude journal application onto my iphone. It's been almost a fortnight now and I'm pleasantly surprise at how well I'm doing at taking the time and energy to reflect on the day and write in my journal. Each day I can 'rate' my day with a number of stars and it's interesting to look back over the two weeks and see which days are better than others. Life today is so busy, people are often rushing here, there & everywhere to do everything with everybody and to have everything and I know that I am somewhat guilty of falling into the same pit. This experience has made me sit and focus about the positive rather than the negatives of the day which, unfortunately, I feel is my more natural tendancy. I'm hoping to change that through my journal.

To me it's like little kids who get asked "what happened at school today?" and the predictable "nothing" answer. Previously, I'd rate my day as "ok" but not really take the effect to really sit and think about the events of the day and how these have made me feel. Now I am taking time out at the end of the day to just sit for a few minutes and really think about what has happened and how much I'm thankful for - it's often the little things like spending unexpected time with the kids, the man who gave me a thank you wave when I let him into the traffic, sitting outside in the evening and just sitting, the quiet of the house and the love of my children, I'm even thankful for the reminder that I need to be thankful as it gives me the opportunity to see exactly how much I have rather than haven't.

So to end this post I thought I'd share my journal for today....
... I'm thankful for the peace and quiet of the house when everyone is at school/daycare. Life seems just that much more peaceful and relaxed without the noise!!
... I'm thankful for the skills that I have which allowed me to finish Izaaks quilt today!
... I'm thankful for the huge smile on Charley's face when she saw me at the door to pick her up from FDC ;-)
... I'm thankful for my family who are all gathering at the park for pizza dinner tonight. I love having time & location which allows me and the kids to be close to the rest of my family
... I'm thankful for the excitement, frustration, laughter and joy that new relationships bring to my life

What are you thankful for today??

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's official....

... after three years, plenty of tears, triumps and tribulations....


Wow. It finally feels real.

Bugger - blogger won't link what I want it to. Searching under my name (Rebecca Caulfield) shows I'm an official, financial, RN - WOOOHOOOOOOO

Monday, November 30, 2009


Remember last week when I was inspired by the zig zag quilt over at CrazyMomQuilts? Well I had a few greens in the stash and the boy of the house loves green so I set to work and finished the top this afternoon.

I enjoyed constructing this and seeing how the rows came together made it go really quickly! I'm planning a trip to Spotties tomorrow for some quilting thread and backing and then plan on getting to work quilting this little one. Any ideas/suggestions on quilting designs? I'm thinking of just following the ziggy zaggy pattern and was thinking of a green variegating thread to pop a bit of the black out so it's not so dark. I can't get a decent photo of the colours but they are way brighter than they both appear in the piccies.

Remember Charley's quilt boo-boo? I became friends with my seam ripper this afternoon (much like the lovely Kuka) and have just finished putting it back together. Again, thread & backing tomorrow and then I'm going to start quilting. I'm thinking of a white/pink/purple variegated thread for this one and just plan on quilting horizonal lines on this one.

So that's been my day - loving my sewing machine at the moment although I think I'll have to give her up for a while soon. She really needs a service. Anyway, I'm hoping to get the quilting & binding done on these before Christmas so both the kids have got some handmade love from their mumma to open on the big day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas.... crafting and other stuff

I've just come from the shops after joining the crazy crowds to grab a few things for christmas gifts for my immediate family and it was interesting to see the different reactions/attitudes of different shoppers. From the stressed out, hurried mum who had five children with her trying to rangle kidlets and find the right sized shirt to the little old lady who stood in the christmas decoration isle for ages just looking and touching all the different deccies. It made me think about how I perceive christmas and particularly the gift giving aspect of the season.

I think I'm fairly lucky - I have a small, immediate family and a select group of close friends who I will be buying/making/baking for but even then I've found myself caught up and stressing. Is what I'm giving worth/as good as what that person will get me? Am I spending too much (ha! hardly likely!)/too little? Is what I'm making good enough? I hate that I have those doubts. In terms of family I'm not making much, they don't appreciate the time/effort/energy that goes into handmade so this year I can't really be bothered. Remeber the christmas sock monkeys of last year? They are disgusting. Absolutely foul. The stuffing is coming out, they are stained, stink and are just generally revolting so I've decided to make new ones this year with some swishy merino socks. I'm hoping that the improved sock quality will result in improved monkey quality but we'll wait and see.

Anyway, the whole point of my post was to nut out this christmas thing. Why do I feel the need to conform to the consumeristic christmas? Why do I have this anxiety that what I give won't be good enough? Why has this consumerism culture taken the joy and fun out of christmas and replaced it with self doubt and concern?

This christmas seems to be hard for me and it's not even December yet! I've got anxiety over the gift issues, concern over going away and how the kids will handle christmas away from the family and worried that this will be my last christmas with my nanna. I think it's probably the last issue that is weighing most heavily on my mind. I don't want christmas to come because I don't want to be a step closer to losing her ;-(

Sunday, November 22, 2009

So little time.... so much to try....

... because I'd love one of these

Blueberry Pie from Crazy Mom Quilts which I'm in love with and am thinking of in reds for my loungeroom. It's been brown/blue for years and I'm over it. Thinking new cushion covers & a new quilt over the lounge is just what I need.

... and one of these

Also from crazy mom quilts I'm in love with the zig-zag quilt. I love and have always loved zig zag quilts but as a beginner sewer/quilter the concept of triangles scares the bejesus out of me. The potential for stretching and skewing of fabric on the bias is just too much for me to take so when I saw this and the instructions for zig zag without triangles my eyes lit up! Again, thinking reds with a cream/beige for the lounge room.
Finally I'm in love with these pinwheels which I think would be great in pink/purple tones for the little miss of the house or in greens on beige/browns for the little mister. Tutorial for the block can be seen here.
ARGH - so much that I want to do but I just don't have enough time (or moolah!) to get it all done! Christmas crafting has started for me which I plan on posting about tomorrow - a bit of a conundrum for me but will get through all that later - for now I'm off to browse more awesome quilt patterns and dream!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Photo roundup

I've been sewing in the past few days, finally overcoming my fear of stretch fabrics, and getting some new tops ready for summer. This one was just some fabric that was sitting in the stash and a super quick and easy pattern which only took an hour or so. It's a really lovely loose weave and it's going to be really cool in summer for lazing about the house. I've also done a black t-shirt with gathering in the front but it's in the wash so no photos just yet!

These are the two projects for tomorrow.

This is the quilt that I started for my bed months ago when I delivered the one for my grandma. She bought me a new jelly roll and although tempted by lots of lovely patterns I decided to stick to the tried & trusted. Sounds silly but I'm going to like having a 'sister quilt' just like nannas. It took me two days to put the strips together but then I couldn't find denim anywhere and couldn't find a suitable substitute for the sashings. Yesterday I was just meandering through spotlight, as one does, when I stmbled across the very denim that I'd be searching for months ago. The roll did look very thin though - I wasn't feeling confident as I approached the counter. I needed 2meters and was hoping & praying that there would be enough. The lady rolled it out and there was 210cm on the roll. Yay! Today, the top is finished & I'll be contacting Raylee from Sunflower Quilting in the next week or so to organise the quilting of it. I love it!! The birthday girl, complete with red rings thanks to a raspberry split ice block!

Last weekend was lovely weather so we headed out to the markets and the little miss twisted my arm for a ride - who could say no to that little face?

I absolutely adore this pic of my two - I'd have to say that this is one of the best of them together. Love you guys!!

ETA - forgot to add the piccie of Charlotte's quilt top - thank goodness I took a photo and posted it - I've just realised there is a boo-boo! Off to find the quick unpick.....

Can't believe...

... it's been almost a month since I last posted...

Lots has happened in the past few weeks.....

... the little Miss has turned four. I can't find my external harddrive so can't find all the old photos but it's hard to get my head around that the little bub who was so eager to arrive and who I first met in a humidi crib with tubes and wires around her is the little girl who is about to embark on her preschool adventure, was so incredibly brave for her needles, who makes me smile most days and who is a joy in my life in more and more situations. We had a family dinner with the extended family and then just a little dinner at home with the three of us. She was spoilt as always!!

... the little Mister has started swimming lessons. Thanks in part to the school swimming program. Day one of the program he wouldn't put his head under the water, day 10 and he was a different child, 4 weeks into regular swimming lessons and he's diving to get rings off the bottom of the pool. He's definitely in no way a proficient swimmer but his confidence in the water is just amazing. It's been good for all us to get in the water - we all head down on Tuesdays now to have a splash about. Tires everyone out as well which is an added bonus.

... there is someone else who is sharing in our life now...

... uni is over - yep OVER - my undergraduate student life is finally and thankfully over. Graduation is exactly five weeks today!!! Student life is not entirely over though... I'm heading back in February to start my honours program. I've got my topic semi-covered, have written the application and have been talking to uni about possibly supervisors. It's an exciting time!!

... I have a job! I've been offered a place in the February intake of graudates for the new grad program. I've put in preferences for 10A (gastro surgery), 8B (ENT, cardiothoracic, maxio facial, opthamology & plastics), 7B (medical assessment and planning, PaTCH (paeds). I should know by christmas where they are going to send me. I'm looking forward to seeing where I'm heading on my clinical pathway. Given the honours though I plan on working part time, studying part time and losing any sense of sanity for any other time I have!!

... given the lack of uni, readings, assignments, essays, clinical and the general lack of routine and 'stuff' I haven't got much crafting done. I've got two quilt tops in the works and tops for each of the kidlets finished. I'd love to get them both quilted and finished for the kids for christmas and at least one of them finished for me before the end of the year. It's do-able but I've also been sewing some tops for me for summer.

Anyway, that's a quick wrap up of life here at the moment. Will post again soon with some photos of life around the place!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Productivity News...

... so knitting has taken a back seat over the past few weeks to my new favourite crafting pastime - quilting!!
It started after my last teary post about Nanna and then a trip to George's and a squizz at her Jelly Roll Quilt book. A trip to Addicted to Fabric and two days later the top was done. Recommendations from Michelle for Sunflower Quilting meant that just a few more days and I picked up my very first quilt!!

I can't recommend Raylee from Sunflower Quilting highly enough - she was warm, friendly, caring, professional and her work on my quilt is just amazing. I'll definitely be using her services again!! Nannas face was gorgeous when I presented it to her and I cried (of course!) explaining to her that it was my tribute to her for all that she did and continues to do for me and my family. It is now taking pride of place on her bed at her house - I'm so proud of myself, my nanna and my quilt!!
The bug had bitten and of course now I wanted some beautiful handmade love on my own bed and I had purchased a pattern & some fat quarters from the Quilt & Craft Fair a few months back. I finally got the courage to take the rotary cutter to the gorgeous fabrics and there were a few swear words, a boo boo or two but overall I'm uber impressed with how this one came out as well! I'm perhaps even more proud of this one as I had to cut the fat quarters, sew all the blocks, quilted it myself (and without a walking foot!!) and it's binding is hand sewn down. It took alot of work but it is so beautiful it was well worth it!!

I've got so much to blog about - the little mans birthday, nannas visit, my holidays but I'm too busy - I got another jelly roll and am in the process of putting together my third quilt top! It's so much fun!!

Friday, August 28, 2009


Last post I forgot to mention that I put everyone's name in a hat and the lovely little man pulled out Trudi's name so I'll be in touch soon to organise a little something heading out your way!!

In the recent news - I'm struggling. It's now 3:22am on Saturday morning and I'm wide awake and in tears. I feel the need to share her life with you all.

My nanna was put up for adoption at birth and was taken into a family of two sisters and a brother whom she called Aunty Hilda, Aunty Martha and Paul - they lived on a farm outside Toowoomba where she rode her horse to school and lived the typical life of a farm child during the years of the depression. She tells stories about rationing of food, life before refrigeration and the like. She did her nursing education and met my grandfather but he went off to war and she travelled overseas to do her nursing. They met up and married on their return in Adelaide. I have their wedding picture hanging on my wall as we speak and they look so deliriously happy. She tells me that they moved into their first home with very little money and milk cartons as chairs but that they were so happy and in love that it didn't seem to matter.

Her first child John, was 'difficult' from toddlerhood and never had a good relationship with my grandfather ('poppy'). My mum came along next and then her sister after that who was born early and very small. Poppy worked in the airforce as a flight controller and they moved around quite a bit during his service before finally settling down in Tamworth where they both worked - he at the airport, she at the base hospital. My mum & siblings grew up and moved on but my grandparents took care of my cousin during her infant/school years and continued to juggle work and a little person. They both retired. He became involved in the Masonic movement, Legacy and bowls. Together they volunteered for meals on wheels - I would go with them when I was visiting during the school holidays. My grandparents drove Commodores - early models with the vinyl seats and I'm sure I've lost more than my fair share of skin on them during the baking Tamworth summers!!

I would fly from Brisbane to Tamworth during the school holidays to spend time with them and I have amazingly fond memories of cooking and sewing with nanna. She taught me to sew a pair of shorts as a beginners project, her famous tea cakes and a bunch of other stuff. She is a crafty lady who has the most amazing latch hooked rug in her loungeroom - no pattern just the bits and pieces of left overs from other projects that she hated seeing go to waste. She is so inventive and useful - hates seeing any sort of waste. She tells me that this comes from living through the depression and hard times when you made the most of absolutely everything. She is a thrifty little lady.

As a grew up and became a mother she was always on the end of the phone with advice and a knowing ear with Izaaks teething, fevers, immunisations and while we had some differences of opinions on matters she always loved and supported me. Charlotte came along and nanna has loved her as much as ever. I show her what I'm knitting, she encourages me. I tell her what I'm learning and doing in clinical and we talk about the differences of nursing 50 years ago. She is my rock. She 'gets' me like the rest of my family doesn't. I love her.

I am losing her. Her time on this earth is nearing it's end and I am struggling to deal with this. It hurts. It hurts so much that I wake up at 2:20 in the morning feeling like it hurts so much that I can't breathe. It hurts so much to imagine life without her, without being able to pick up the phone and hear her soothing words, her assurances, her advice and her love. I hope that she has been around long enough to make an impression on my childrens hearts, that they remember her and what an amazing woman she is and was. I'm trying to focus on her going to be with my poppy and remembering that she has lead a very full life, experienced so much but I don't want to let go. I want to hold on forever. and ever. It hurts.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I love this time of the night - It's 9pm on a Sunday and all is well in the world.

We've had a lovely, lazy day. A bit of washing here, folding there, vacuming around the place but nothing too exhausting. Lunch was snag sangers and had as we sat out the back and enjoyed the tiny sliver of sunshine that lay across our courtyard. Some Wii play, a book or two later and we headed over to good friends for dinner. Kidlets playing and walking the dog, knitting, a glass of wine & BBQ dinner. Bliss. Pure bliss.

So now it's 9pm - my house is tidy, my children are tucked into bed and peacefully dreaming the night away, uni work is under control and in some ways I'm actually ahead, I'm listening to my favourite podcasts and knitting my latest obsession.

Seriously.... can life get any better?? What does your perfect Sunday night and/or weekend look like??

Friday, July 31, 2009

Milestones.... first ever yum cha experience and wow! was it good. It did feel slightly strange going to a Croatian soccer club to have yum cha but the company was wonderful, food delicious and really reasonable pricing. Can't ask for more really.

...we have entered the Wii world thanks to my parents

...we also have a new T.V in part, thanks to the above point. Izaak attempted to connect the Wii all by himself, pulled the TV out of the cabinet too far and smashed the whole thing. New TV equalled moving all the furniture around the place as well because the new telly didn't fit in the old cabinet. I took it as a good time to have a clean up. Feels good to have a tidy home but unforuntely I know it won't last.

...I have started my final clinical placement as a student nurse. It's daunting, exciting, disgusting and wonderful all at the same time. I've seen and had to deal with more poo in the last week than in the previous two and a half years. I seem to have the smell permanently burned into my nostrils. On a happier note the staff are wonderful and so helpful and happy to have students around which is a far cry from my last placement and really makes all the difference.

...I finished my first ever triangle shawl. It is the Percy Shawl and I'm in love with it. I'm super happy with how it turned out and have started on my second shawl now. I really seem to have hit my knitting mojo lately which is a nice change. You can see it here.

...I've been crocheting as well. Dishcloths for my kitchen and face washers for the kids which they are loving. It's nice when the kids pick out the colours and tell me stripes or this for the border or loop/no loop and then within an hour or two they get their finished face cloth.

...My blue swap parcel is coming along nicely with some delicious yarn from Happy Spider that is going to be very hard to part with. A crochet neckwarmer has also been completed as well as a few yummy treats and of course some blue goodies from Smiggle.

...My laptop also died. I took it in and the techhy described it as "the blue screen of death" - apparently fixable but really difficult and expensive so she's been replaced with a smaller, lighter Asus and I'm really happy so far with how it's running. Much faster which is great and lighter meaning it's easier to cart around to uni etc and with the smaller size I am getting alot longer out of a battery.

...We've had our first overnight visitor last night. I really can't describe how exciting it is that my autisitic child has something that resembles a social life. Yay! for my boy! He's coped really well with the experience as well. It may well be one that is repeated.

...and finally, this is post 150 for me!! To celebrate I'm giving away a little something so leave a comment and on Friday night I'll do the random number thingie and be sending something lovely to one of you!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

From the mouth of babes...

..... "Mum, can we please go ride biking this afternoon"....

.... "My button belly is coloured in today"....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A trip to the snow

Last winter we were all packed and ready for a trip to the snow when both of the kidlets fell ill and we had to postpone the trip then life got busy and winter was over. I've got friends who live just outside Cooma at a little place called Numeralla. It's beautiful. Simply beautiful. Quiet and peaceful and most of all just so still. So the kidlets and I headed up last Friday to spend a night and drive up to the snow on Saturday.

We hired the snow chains, suits, boots and assorted snow paraphernalia and then drove up to the snowfields at Selwyn. The kids had a fabulous time - Izaak spent the majority of the day on the toboggan - up and down - up and down. While the little Miss built a snow man, snowballs and was happy just playing around in the snow.

This one is my favourite picture of my two - I love the expressions on their faces

I wish I'd been able to get better photos but the day was very cloudy/foggy and by the time we left visibility was down to about 50 meters. It was raining as well so it was nice to get into the car, turn the heater up and cruise back home. Both the kids are keen to go again and we had so much fun I'm looking at the diary trying to see when we might be able to do it all over again!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

RIP Stuart

Loved you buddy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Random Stuff.....

A milo vest for Charlotte (please excuse the snot & dodgy atop-the-kitchen-bench location!)...

Some new wooly pants from Grandma...
And my new, improved little man...

He read me 5 stories last night and told me that the glasses "make my brain smart 'cause the words are bigger" so here's hoping it makes things easier for the little guy!

In uni news I've just (literally 5 minutes ago!) finished my last essay and the final exam is tomorrow and then I'll have a whole month of class-free, stress-free, reading-free time - bliss! Slightly dented by the prospect of having all four of my wisdom teeth out but bliss none the less.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Master chef...

... Izaak

He's decided he wants to be a chef "once I grow up to be a big man". I see opportunity so we've started some basic cooking lessons and as a result once a week he is going to (with assistance) be cooking dinner.

Last week he decided on enchiladas and while I fried off the mince he prepared the rest and this was the final result. Looked good and tasted great!

Any ideas on particularly kid-friendly recipes for budding chefs??

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What a weekend!

So for the long weekend the whole extended tribe headed over to Batemans Bay for a 'family' holiday. I use that term loosely because the tribe consisted of me with the two ferals, my folks, my sister & her partner and their two little boys. In the end it turned out much better than expected and I even managed, for the most part, to keep my mouth shut!

Kids had an absolute blast. Izaak has been wanting to learn to ride a bike without his training wheels for a while now but on the advice of his physio and occupational therapist I had decided to leave them on. I'd love to say that it was my intrinsic belief in my child tht I took them off but the reality is that my seven year old has amazing 'nag' powers and it all got too much for me. I should have gone with the first motivator because I put him on the path, gave him a little wobbling, pushing and lots of encouragement and he was off! This was the first day I took the wheels off and he did so well (and was so big!) that I got him a bigger bike while we were away. He rode 5km from the cabins into town and back again and was on the bike every free moment he had - definitely worth the investment!

Charlotte loves her bike too and did a great job on the massive 5km ride as well. It was crazy looking at this little girl and remembering that 18 months ago she was too scared to even walk on sand and I had to carry her when we went to the beach. A dozen camping trips later and she runs through the water, jumping in the puddles and having a great time watching the pelicans and seagulls in the water. She was fascinated by the boat ramp as well and spent a good half hour in the evening watching the boats come outof the water and onto the trailers. Same thing in reverse the next morning.

It's been a crazy ride but man do I love this little chicken...

We headed home on Monday around lunch time but had a quick stop off for a game of putt-putt. It was hilarious and wonderful at the same time. I loved seeing Izaak - waiting, sharing, talking, interacting like a 'normal' kid. Heart warming for this proud mamma!

Then it was back to reality - my law & ethics exam was today and went well. I've got one more paper to write and another exam then I've got a few weeks of uninterrupted, unplanned, creative crafty time that I am **so**looking forward to!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Clapotis v2.0

Remember my first clappy? I love her and she'll always be part of the family given that she's one of the first 'real' things I have knitted but I have since discovered that mohair and I don't mix well. I itch. and itch. and itch. So I have been planning another one with various different yarns over the past months but had done nothing about it until we went to the OBDM wool day. I went with mum and it was a lovely outing with no children! Bliss! We made our way around to Helen from Waratah Fibres and I spotted some lovely 8ply in reddy/berry colours and decided I *must* have it. 200gr of "mixed berry" 8ply followed me home and the following weekend at our Brown Owls meet Clapotis v2.0 was cast on.

Fast forward 6 days and she was finished! A super quick knit for me given the time of the semester, kids etc. I had initial misgivings about the needle size and gauge but she has blossomed bautifully after a good soak and has already been taken out for a number of excursions!

Excuse the dodgy photos - just one of the many pitfalls of living alone ;-( Anyway, crazy thing?? I'm thinking I might just need another one. I do have some smoothie laying around.....