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(This will just be a quick post because I have a doctor’s appointment soon)

I was talking to my sister this morning and she mentioned that she’d read my last blog post and she commented on the fact that most of my recent posts have all been about gardening and I completely agree with her! I’m reminded of it every time I choose my tags for the posts and am confronted with a tag cloud that shows me how often I use each tag and ‘garden’ screams at me very loudly! It’s not that gardening is all I do – the truth is far from that! The fact of the matter is that the garden produces the most beautiful photos and I am loathe to post anything without pictures. I am too visually and aesthetically minded to omit a visual aid  in most of my posts!

I am going to try and get a greater variety back into my posts but today I have yet another gardening related post that I have to share with you.

Yesterday I had a small revelation. It began when my aunt told me about a family friend who is going through some unexpected financial problems and is having trouble getting food on the table for her family of three. My aunt is planning to visit her and give her a supermarket voucher and it was without hesitation that I said I would get a box of veges from the garden to give her family too. This is the reason everyone should grow their own veges and fruit – so we can share! God makes an abundance of goodness grow from tiny little seeds and it only makes sense to share what we can’t use.

And so yesterday and today I have been gathering vegetables and packing them into a box to be given to this family who we love. It was pretty amazing to see how much the garden has given us. My dad works the hardest in the garden and it’s to his credit that it’s so productive. I think we have a responsibility to share all our blessings whether they be food or time or the ability to listen.

Anyway, the vegetables looked so beautiful on the table so I had to take a photo to share with you.

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It’s not a great photo but you get the point. Everything on that table was from my parents’ garden. Just for interest and so you can see what we harvest in late spring in a subtropical climate I will list what’s there. Sweet potato, pumpkin, leek, brown onions, cucumber, squash, cherry tomatoes, pepinos, carrots (in the paper bag), green and brown mignonette lettuces, tatsoi (an asian green that’s great in stir fries and salads), beetroot, lebanese eggplants, celery, bean yam, choko, a lemon and a jar of freshly made strawberry jam my mum made from home grown strawberries. The best thing about this food is that it all came from the garden and it’s just the extras.

So it was with lots of love and a little pride that I packed it all up into a box to be given to some people that my family and I love.

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If you’re wanting more motivation to start growing your own veges you’ve got it. I’ve always loved the idea of being able to grow a big lemon tree that produces so much fruit you have to give it away. The same could be done with tomatoes or chokos or whatever else your individual green thumb can nurture. It also fits into my ideal world where community and family means everything. But I can tell you more about that idea later.

I love you all.

ps. Did you see my new bunch of zinnias? This time I picked all the little flowers. Some of them are amazingly detailed!

Martin here is my first foray into the world of amigurumi (crocheted toys originated from Japan). I love him very much and I am very much proud of him.

I learnt to crochet from the internet and various very old crochet/needle crafts books I bought from second hand book stores. Since then I have made scarves, berets and have started more than one blanket (but as yet have finished none…). I love the meditative repetition that crochet requires…and then the end result is so so satisfying.  I will share some of my earlier crochet projects with you another time. For now you can appreciate little Martin here.

I made him for my sister’s 20th birthday in June this year. I mostly made up the pattern myself. I attempted to write the pattern out to publish on here and share with my ravelry friends but sort of failed at that. I lost my notes…woopsy daisies! I was inspired to actually try amigurumi after reading so many patterns on ravelry.com. I really really recommend that site if you are a crocheter or knitter. There are so many free patterns and advice on yarn and needles and hooks…and it’s pretty much just an awesome community.

Seeing that photo of Martin just made me remember how much I love having fresh flowers at home. I get these gerberas from the West End Markets at a flower stall there…they are 30 cents per stem and it is so fun to pick out whatever colours your heart desires early on a Saturday morning. Maybe next time I will take a camera with me…I love those markets. There is this cute gypsy styled caravan that sells organic fair trade coffee and my favourite is the cardamom latte. Oh, and there are these curry puffs there that are amazing. I have never loved a curry puff like that. $2 each and love at first scalding hot bite. That is a fantastic breakfast…cardamom coffee and curry puffs. Just thinking about the markets is making me drooooool. Yummmy! Now I know what I will be doing next Saturday morning!

I was browsing through my earlier blog posts and I remembered my pledge to hand make all my Christmas gifts this year. I’m not sure how that is going to go. I might try and have a handmade element to each present and aim that anything I do actually purchase is handmade. I don’t really like massive commercialism and consumerism. I would really love to make my own Christmas ornaments this year too. I have this idea for a Christmas tree that I am itching to try out. I really do love Christmas! The idea of giving and eating and sharing is extremely heartwarming. I am thinking of having an Australian thanksgiving dinner this year for a few of my close friends. That is one American tradition that I have always admired because I feel like it would be a great way of showing gratitude to my friends and family for loving and just being them. I’m not sure how traditional I would have the dinner…this is going to give me something new to plan! Recently I have just loved cooking and baking and sharing delicious food with my friends. I normally have some sort of dinner party at least once a year but I haven’t had one this year yet. Oooh, the ideas are swirling around in my head now!

Hehe, I was just looking back at where my tangential mind has taken me this blog entry and it is ridiculous! …amigurumi – crochet – ravelry – flowers – markets – breakfast – gifts – Christmas – thanksgiving – dinner parties. You’ve gotta love tangents!

I haven’t got a lot more to say today…uni has been getting more and more hectic and all my assignments are catching up on me. I’m not stressing out as such, I am more just finding less time to spend on here. But never fear, I will not abandon you, my readers!

xo

Ever since my oldest brother got given a huge book of origami patterns and he made me a little butterfly ring I have been fascinated by the process and results of folding a humble piece of paper. I can’t get my head around how someone can design their own complicated origami pieces (but I’ve always loved the pictures of the guys who do create them…head down in concentration sitting at a table surrounded by pieces of white paper in varying degrees of 3D-ness). I went through a stage about 1 or 2 years ago where I would keep a box of tiny litttle squares of origami paper in my handbag ready to fold something in a moment of quiet. I would fold little cranes and flowers and hyperbolic parabolas (so cool!) in public places like McDonalds and libraries and parks and I would leave my little creations on tables and chairs and hedges just so someone would see it and just wonder what the heck it was doing there! I think I still have some of that paper in my wallet. One day I will fold some more tiny creations!

So in honour of my love of origami I will share some of my favourite origami related pictures…

Firstly, a little bit of a show off…this is a Five Intersecting Tetrahedra that I made with my oldest brother. I made all the modules, but it turns out that I didn’t have enough arms (or brains) to put it together! So with four hands and two brains (and my bro’s genius new paper locking technique he devised to hold this together a little better) we put this together out of something like 30 individual pieces of paper and nothing else. This will always be one of my favourite completed origami projects! Sadly, after living on our top shelf for three years we decided it was time to let him go free…

Next is a simple origami vase and flower combination.I made a vase and a whole pile of lily flowers and some other tiny flower.  The lily folding pattern I used for most of the flowers is one of my  absolute favourite designs ever. I know how to fold it by heart. That is one of the designs I used to fold and leave on tables in food courts. It is also a design I taught to some kids at an orphanage I visited in Cambodia. I have to make this a long post and tell you about this day (probably my most recent origami adventure).

At the end of 2008 I went with a group of young people from my church to Cambodia to help out with some teaching at the Bible Education Centre that is funded by our church and to help with a few projects and we got to do  a few touristy things too. It was an amazing trip and I am considering returning for a longer period of time some time in the future. But back to origami…the team I was working with decided to go to an orphanage we had heard about at a restaurant (the restaurant raised funds for the small orphanage) just to hang out with the kids and we thought we might teach them a few songs or something (we didn’t really have anything planned). We were led by an employee of the restaurant down streets, into an alleyway and up some winding long stairs until we arrived. The orphanage had about 26 kids there and most of them were sitting on the ground concentrating on making beautiful Christmas decorations for their Christmas party the next day.

This is what they looked like hanging from the ceiliing…

I was intrigued and I sat down with them and I ended up teaching a few of the girls how to make the origami lily (I was a little bit rusty and I had to rack my brains but I figured it out in the end!). It was so nice to just sit and share something that easily overcomes any language barrier. This was one of my favourite experiences from the entire trip.

I am the one in the pink shirt in this pic, and my best bud is sitting in the front trying to figure it all out.

It was a lovely day and a couple of hours flew by just sitting drawing with the kids, while some of the boys played some games off to the side.  I really wish I remembered more folds that I could have shared with them though!

And thus concludes the telling of my origami adventures for today.

p.s. I still can’t fold that butterfly ring that my brother made me when I was a kid. I sort of like it that way.

So here I am…starting a new little blog in which I hope to share the things that inspire, encourage and push me to create. I hope that by sharing these things, you will also be inspired to put some creativity into your everyday life. I guess I started this so that I can have a place to externalise my thoughts and the things which make me smile. I hope it becomes a colourful place that fosters a community feel through creativity and sharing. There have been so many blogs that I have admired over the past few years and I would love to give back to that online community.

Today I pulled out my paint and brushes to complete a painting I started last week. I am pretty happy with how this has turned out, especially since it was an experiment of sorts. I tried limiting my colour palette to yellows, reds and blues and I also tried a more cubist style than I would usually tackle. I’m just not so sure about the blue that I did today and I think I need to straighten up a few red outlines. I am hoping to start (and finish) at least 3 more paintings in the coming week. Even though it takes a bit of motivation to actually start a painting I really love the satisfaction I can get from just laying the colours on a canvas. It’s a pleasure like no other. I’ve shown you a corner of my painting and a view of my studio/dining room table.


One of my goals is to make all my Christmas presents for this year. That will add up to at least 10 handmade gifts. I’d better start brainstorming! Hopefully I can have all my presents ready early this year, complete with pretty wrapping.

The List

  1. Mum
  2. Dad
  3. Little sister (she’ll be 20)
  4. Younger big brother
  5. Big brother
  6. Sister in law
  7. Granny
  8. Super Aunt 1
  9. Super Aunt 2
  10. Best bud
  11. Pen pal
  12. Childhood neighbour

Time to put my thinking cap on…