from little things big things grow

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Digging in the sand

I dug in the sand and Skye put her feet in the hole. I filled it back up, burying her feet. She loved it. Over and over we did this. Digging and filling. Sometimes she would help with the filling or the digging. Often she would get the order wrong, filling when I was digging. Putting her feet in when it had been filled.

Digging in the sand is a simple delight. Easy for me, wonderful for her; a new thing!

After, we sat at the edge of the water, letting choppy waves whoosh over our feet. She grabbed at seagrass and weed, and popped shells in her mouth. Occasionally she threw shells or handfuls of sand into the ocean. Like offerings to the seagods, I mused.

And then daddy caught a fish!

Little keepsakes - above.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Stories of grandma

Grandma Eileen came to meet you for your first birthday. She would have come sooner, but I was sick and then grandad was sick. Your first birthday seemed like a perfect time.

And it was.

She gave you time to check her out, and when you were ready she read books to you. I think she enjoyed them as much as you did! I can hear her saying how good they were.

There were three days together. And then there was no grandma anymore.

I feel sad writing this. But I want you to ask me to tell you all about her.

And I will tell you what I remember...

She came to visit when you were still inside me, growing. She rang to check how we were doing.

When you were born she sent a parcel with beautiful shawls, one she crocheted for you. Another she picked up in New Zealand. She liked to travel. Amazing that she was thinking of you before you were born on her holiday.

And as you grew during your first year more gifts arrived. Neon brights that you wore on the beach. Musical bongo drums that you love to dance to. A shape sorter she got at a tupperwear party! A peacock teeshirt that you grew out of so quickly we only got it on you a couple of times.

For your birthday she chose you a Humpty Dumpty money box. It's your favourite nursery rhyme. Grandma Eileen was uncanny like that. 

Grandma Eileen loved you. She had pictures of you up on her wall. When we go to visit grandad I will show them to you. I will also show you her beautiful garden, and the nest she crocheted for the little birds.

She was loud and bold and funny. She never forgot anyone and she cared deeply for family and friends. She was ballsy and she didn't suffer fools. She was an adventurer and didn't let age or other peoples opinions stop her from having a bit of fun.

You two would have been fast friends x

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The tribe

Yesterday I dressed Skye in a summer frock. She looked very sweet, a picture of mischief and blond wispy locks.

Someone commented on how sweet it was, and I went to say how it was a gift from a neighbour. In the ponderous way my mind works, I reflected on how Skye has received so many presents from neighbours, how well known she is, and finally,  that here in apartment blocks near the beach we have found our tribe.

Skye is known by neighbours in the two adjacent apartment blocks, and other neighbours from the street and the nearby nursing home. She has adopted them as family, beaming big smiles at them all, and reaching for hugs from her favourites. She pets their dogs with no fear.

Finding a tribe is something that has been pressed on me as a new parent. Maybe because I am a bit alternative and have post natal depression, and also its because I'm introverted and have moved to a new town. I tried at first, reaching out to attachment parenting groups and nursing mothers groups. When these didn't work out for various protests I tried a home visit counsellor and a psychiatrist. These were horrendous experiences, resulting in me feeling even more alone. Eventually I stopped trying. But I only became stronger in my resolve to follow my instincts.

In the past couple of weeks I've read a couple of articles about others finding tribes. One by a busy working mother, the other by a fellow mental health sufferer. When I read these my mind smiled gratefully over my own support systems and I challenged myself to look after those peeps in return.

Finally I made the realisation that the tribe I was seeking have gathered around me.

Strangers have made me feel so welcome and proud of the way I am raising Skye. To these strangers, I think that Skye and I also provide a service. A tribe is a two way thing.

There was the lady down the street who gave me a beautiful umbrella to keep on the day I took Skye for a walk in the carrier minutes before the rain came down. There is the couple downstairs who have showered her with outfits, because they don't have their own grandchildren. The elderly couple in the block who gave Skye a cuddly blanket, which she immediately took to, and was coined the magic sleeping voodoo blanket, or pinky for short. The couple from the retirement village who join Skye on her walk each morning and have adopted her as their own. The lady next door who comments on how much Skye has grown, keeping tabs on her progress..

I have always had a tribe. There is my family and friends. It's not hard to think of ways they are there for me too. My dad takes Skye for a walk everyday, and has instigated a lot of the community connections. My mum encouraged me to find my own rhythm, and led by example. My husband who knew when to hold me and took so much time off work to help me find myself again. My sisters, interstate, who ring and send messages of love and encouragement and find ways to make me laugh. And my dear friends who send emails or messages, which allow me to be introverted but still know they are looking out for me.

Yesterday was 'Are you ok? Day'. Amd although I have mastitis for the third time, I can say, yes I am ok. I hope you are too. And if you aren't, perhaps your tribe will come through for you.

Family pic by Debs Ivelja Photography

Saturday, August 3, 2013


I keep thinking how different life has become. It's like I've taken a back road somewhere, and nothing is familiar.

My appearance startles me. My once-blond hair is more of a red brown these days, and its greying. and I wear specs now.

My days are surreal, yet routine. I find myself engrossed in the most random of task. Wiping up yoghurt for example. Or fitting board books into a box. I wait for nap times to do 'me' things. 

I'm sure I'm not alone in all of this reflecting. It must be a new mum thing.

As a stay at home mum there are days where I smile at the irony of it all... Let me ruminate.

I love seeing my fave actors cameo on Sesame Street. And then I love to search for this on YouTube so I can post it on Facebook, because I think everyone else would enjoy this too. This is a bit daggy!

I have a waterproof case for my iphone for when my daughter chews on it. No style statement there.

I have 5 tops that are exactly the same so I don't have to choose one in the morning. But I still have favourites from between those five.

At any moment I don't know what is smeared on me. It may be yoghurt, snot, strawberries or breast milk. It may not even be mine. But the milk probably is.

I'm obsessed with shopping coupons,
eBay and Instagram. I'm sure I was obsessed with IG preSkye, but now my feed is filled with pics of her.

So I think I have officially become the dag of a mum 13 years before my embarrassed teenaged daughter will point it out to me. And I'm ok with that today.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Five senses - Goldie version

Sound: laughter (the promise of a new day together)

Sight: purple carrots and black radishes (farmers market at Bundall)

Touch: dadda's safe arms (botanic gardens Ashmore)

Smell: sea breeze, hamburgers, and hot cement (Southport rock pools)

Taste: refreshing cold water (Broadwater)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Crafty business planning

Next month the Masterclass version of my business planning for crafters workshop will be on. The wonderful Trish Goodfield will be presenting this for me. 

The workshop builds upon the 2hour one  and allows more time for thinking through elements of the business plan. So, if you have done the 2hour one I think you will love this one. Especially if you haven't had time to work on it since the workshop. 

I'm not presenting because of a couple of reasons, but namely because my business right now is my baby girl. When she is older I may start facilitating workshops again. I'd really like that.

I asked Trish to run the masterclass workshop because she will be perfect! Trish has been involved in my business planning workshops since I first ran them to a tiny group of BrisStyle members a few years ago. I love her input and her wicked sense of humour. She has a lot more experience than me, especially as a crafty business maker. I think you will love her.

If you haven't done one of the workshops you might like to consider doing the Masterclass in July, or the 2hr one in November. If you have a craft evolving into a business then the Map and Hatch workshop could really help by giving you time and tools to map out how to reach your dreams. Take the time to work out your style and values so these can become signposts directing your decisions. 

If you've done one of the workshops recently, or not so recently, I'd love to hear how it's helped you with your crafty business. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Milk machine and sucker fish

Breastfeeding continues to hold surprises for me. I'm impressed that bub and I have been doing this for 8 months now. At the same time it just feels normal. However it is anything but routine.

Initially bub enjoyed two hourly feeds with the occasional feedfest, or cluster feed as it is technically known. At that time I was happy to go with the flow, knowing eventually it would change. Her feeds were quick (about 2mins) so it wasn't like I was stuck on the recliner all day.

When it did change I was surprised to find myself grieving. I was sad that she wanted food instead of milk. The feeds would be closer to four hours apart. Instead of feeling liberated I felt like something was missing. Hormones are crazy things.

Then bub changed again and wanted to nurse all through the night. Instead of being upset over sleep disruptions I was thrilled that she was fiercely nursing again. Now she is sick with the flu and wants to sleep at night and feed-sleep through the day. Nothing is set in stone.

Because of all these changes my milk supply is yet to settle. It hasn't reduced greatly, so occasionally, like this morning, I wake up with a rock hard boob, and have to express some milk for comfort. And to avoid mastitis. Important.

Some of the other surprises have more to do with bub. Sometimes she wants to stand up while feeding. Other times her little hand seeks out my nose or ear. Sometimes it's necessary for her hand to be in my mouth while she feeds. Other times she wants me to hold her feet. Lately she has started to pinch me. If I sing while she feeds she will smile and let milk run down her face.

I call myself the milk machine. And she is the little sucker fish that attaches itself, and comes and goes at her whim.

For now.

Friday, May 17, 2013


The baby said her first words this week. She is just shy of 8mo but she is careening through her milestones like a thrill seeker in New Zealand - everything and now.

I'm not even sure how I am keeping up with her. It took me a day before I realised that she had said her first word. She had been saying bub bub bub and I was even repeating it back to her. But it wasn't until the next day that it sunk in. Oh! First word! 

Sleep has been so shaky lately, but with all this development it's no wonder. Sometimes she sits up at night in her sleep and then wakes with a fright - like, how did I get here?!

I think my brain is operating in first gear. I've heard the term mumbie - a mum version of zombie. Walking around sleep deprived in search of coffee, sounds like me. I wonder how many other milestones will bypass me?

Skye is crawling more and exploring her toys. I like these brief moments of independent play. I get to do important tasks like clean the high chair, repack the nappy bag or take some photos. These are much easier on the body than holding her hands so she can speed walk around the house.

I have to relax my back and shoulders and do a bit of 'being in the moment' when the walking is happening. Soon she will do it herself. 

We also started swim lessons. It's taken me four months to get around to it! I was overwhelmed with worries like how to manage showers and change time afterwards. But we talked about it and I realised if dadda comes too then those things can be managed quite easily. And maybe in a month or so I will have worked out the rhythm of it. 

We are due to go to our next lesson right now, but Skye is asleep. I feel like I'm living a cliche - babies enter each day on their own terms! 

Every day is both wonderful and terrifying!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Why my daughter smiles

I saw this title on the lovely nurshable blog recently and thought I would try my own version out. I think this would make a great join in, so if you're inspired perhaps join in with your own...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Super taster

As with all my parenting choices I have fallen into baby led weaning more by the desires of Skye than any planning on my part.

Baby led weaning is the process of letting baby feed herself without the need for purees and mashes. It is messy and completely delightful.

Skye initiated this about two months ago when she took the nectarine I was eating into her own two hands and gummed away at it. She reminded me of a naughty possum or wallaby scrounging.

Sine then we have progressed to three meals a day and fewer milk feeds as a result. Skye has such a passion for food that I call her the super taster. And in fact babies do have more taste buds than adults. This is all timely too because They Might Be Giants are playing in Brisbane now, and they introduced me to super tasters.

She loves fruit, with nectarines remaining a favourite but closely followed by avocado, and banana which makes her laugh. She likes to eat what I am eating and really enjoys chewing together. I do big chews - exaggerating the movement.

Baby led weaning holds many surprises. The big thing for me was realising that for now I will never eat alone, and that means choosing my foods more carefully. It also means sneaking 'naughty' foods when Skye is asleep.

Another thing is the selection of high chairs. We grabbed one off gumtree only to find that it's not so great. The plastic liner and the straps don't come off, meaning its wipe down only. There is food mashed right into it. A better choice would be one where you can pull all the bits off and chuck them in the washing machine.

BLW is endearing. Everyday I take hundreds of photos of my dear babe smeared in food, my heart melting at the sight of her discovering and delighting. This morning I watched as she plunged her little hands into my buttery toast and squished. How wonderful to explore food this way!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Weekends are family time!

Since the workshops I was running have stopped for a bit weekends are family time again. There have been some different things to do over Easter school holidays. While Skye is a bit young to really get the point, we have loved being able to go to a few events. The main one being a 'local and live' music in the park thing. We packed all the right things - jumpers, towels, a ball, teething toys, and bubbles! We knew things were going well when got a great carpark. Then we ordered fish and chips for our picnic. We are doing the baby led weaning thing which meant that Skye ate the grilled fish and salad with us. Although, milk shakes and ice creams are harder not to share and best eaten during baby naps! The music was pretty much all bluegrass which is so great to kick back too, or have a little dance with dadda too. Skye's first tooth poked out, a happier teething baby I have not seen!

Skye's cousins came to visit. This was their first meeting and it was lovely. They are a bit older and have lots of questions and want to help. It was strange not being the aunty with them that I used to be - playing games and dropping everything to be with them. Now I have my own bundle to care for and she comes first. But we still managed to have a lot of adventures ... Playing on the beach, and catching a reptile show at the shopping centre. The kids all held the crocodile, and Skye discreetly chewed him!

Fraser and I are still getting a buzz from being able to walk along the beach, usually with Skye in a carrier. The other night a storm brought a bounty of shells into the shore. I felt childlike as I peered at them all.

It's nearly the weekend again now. Oh how I look forward to them! This time we are going to a garage sale. The weather is perfect too, so we might get some more beach time in. I'm actually planning to go down this afternoon for a paddle.

Monday, April 1, 2013


I mentioned in an earlier post that I've been keeping a gratitude journal. I thought I would write a little more about it. I did some group therapy for my PND, and in this we looked at gratitude as a tool for managing anxiety and depression. It's a bit like switching from seeing the glass as half empty to viewing it as half full instead. Each morning I try to take the time to note three things I am grateful for. After that I journal a little and set a goal for the day. If I can't get to putting pen to paper I do it mentally. Then at the end of the day I write in my babe diary - it's a record of the things my little babe gets up too. I try and focus on the good stuff and the milestones. I guess at the end of the year I'm hoping to have a record that shows me that my life was more than just chasing away the black dog of PND.

Having these little routines helps. It gives me somewhere to go. I feel like at the start of the day I'm investing in a mindset, and at the end of the day it's like I'm capturing the journey sailed. In the early days after Skye was born Fraser and I would give each other a high five for getting through the day. Well, with the journal and the diary I am maintaining this. And reminding myself that its progress not perfection that is important.

Daydreams for Skye

Cooking Easter buns together - passing on the tradition. She already had her first taste of them!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Daydreams for Skye

One day we will walk on the beach and collect shells together. Then we can take some home in a bucket and draw them together.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I've been having more good days than bad ones.

I've finished up my workshops for the first half of the year. I'm in discussions regarding the second half of the year. Things are a bit up in the air. Hubby's next project is going to involve commuting so we've decided to move to the Gold Coast permanently.

Finally a beach lifestyle! I've enjoyed taking Skye for beach walks, and meeting friends for fish and chips. To think that this is what we can have forever makes me just grin.

Lately Skye has been doing a whole world of developing. She has discovered bubbles, blowing raspberries and rolling over. She never wants to sleep because she is simply too busy. But thankfully she does fall asleep, so I can write posts. And yesterday when she was down I splashed some paint around - inspired by the flowers that hubby bought to celebrate 6 months.

Friday, March 8, 2013


Tomorrow is the last of the four workshops for the Brisbane council libraries. This time I will be venturing to Coopers Plains library to run Map and Hatch business planning for crafters. Due to popular request I will be running one more for the libraries in September. You can watch my workshops sidebar for more details or visit the BrisStyle website. Details are yet to be finalised. I'll also be doing one more for BrisStyle later in the year, plus two in the format of a master class. These will go for twice as long but have less participants, so you can really get the most out of it.

This week I've had to use some of the tools and words of advice I pass out on myself. The key piece of advice I give regarding planning is to know what your values are. Sometimes I call these standards, other times its brand values. But when you get down to the matter its about being authentic. When you operate from this foundation you get a good gut feeling about decisions and goals, and how to go about travelling towards them.

It's been really flattering running the Map and Hatch workshops because I am getting great feedback. The best bit was when the libraries asked me to do another four in the second half of the year. But I found myself hesitating saying yes to this opportunity because I had a strong gut reaction. When I explored this a bit I realised that in doing the workshops I would be meeting some goals of mine, but at the expense of my values. While Skye is so young I want to be there for her. Weekends are family time. So I made the decision guided by these values. I am doing four workshops in the second half of the year, and that is all for this year. I won't get another chance to spend these early days with my baby. This decision felt right for me and I am happy I examined my early feelings before I gave any responses.

In regards to my goals I was able to make a little progress with one I wasn't too sure I would achieve. Watercolour painting. Last night I read up on wet on wet washes, and today while Skye was napping with Nanna I had a go. It felt very good to be able to fulfil a creative urge. It was one small step, but it was a happy one. Next time I get the chance I can build on it, and drop by drop the bucket will fill.

Skye has been knocking down her goals. While still convinced she will master sitting up in the form of ab crunches, this remains to be seen. She has however taken to solids foods like a professional taster, holding her toast rusk or piece of skinless nectarine in her little fists, and looking up at me, enjoying eating together and copying me chew and swallow. It's precious. Rolling over and sitting up have also been given a tick. Some pics as proff.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Milestones and mind mapping

This Saturday is the next Map and Hatch business planning for crafters workshop.

Its at the Grange Library, more info here:

I've been reading some great blog posts via Facebook and Etsy about pursuing your craft passion and turning it into a business venture. I've been doing some mind mapping in my delicious moleskine, applying these ideas to my business plan, and considering how to use these to excite people attending my workshops. I love mindmaps! I love writing words, circling them and linking them up. They feel like word drawings and they often feel magical because they impart messages.

I'm doing the extra research because I'll be doing some master classes on craft business planning later this year. The classes will go for longer and have a smaller ratio of participants to me. I want to spend a bit of time mindmapping with people. First jotting down all things related to their business and then circling really important elements in order to discover the foundation.

Foundations are really important because they can guide as well as hold up a plan. Also known as standards or brand, foundations are as much about who you are as how you move towards success. I've been working on an idea which goes goals will help you achieve your big picture if you use your foundations to guide you. It can be drawn in a feeder cycle - you can see it in one of the images of my journaling.

Speaking of planning reminds me of milestones. Teaching workshops are milestones for me. But for Skye this week was a different milestone - her first solids. This has involved stealing my food, rather than a planned menu. What milestones have you achieved lately?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Balanced life

When I first had skye i found doing anything for me other than showering and eating regular meals next to impossible. it was actually easier to put everything on hold. But lately I've made time to add things back in. Actually I've had to put them back in for my mental health.

Some of the things I have reintroduced to my life post Skye are:
- drawing
- swimming
- reading
- baking
- painting my toenails

I've also started a gratitude journal, but more about that another time.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mapping and Hatching


Well the first Map and Hatch of 2013 has been run and it seems it was a smooth success. The participants were a keen bunch who were happy to plough through some simple business planning tools and lay themselves a foundation.

I really enjoyed being up the front again- it has been a while! It's a simple little 2 hour course and pretty straightforward going, so no surprises for me!

I am posting the hatch a goal template here so people can download it for use (right click on the image and choose save as).

I am also using this post as the commit to your goals opportunity that I spoke about in the course. Anyone is welcome to join in! In the comments section pop in your three short term goals for the next year, and also your three long term goals to achieve over the next three years. As we reach these deadlines I'll ask you how you went, and if you met them. Or if your goals changed.

In the coming year my goals are to work through this PND, run Map and Hatch workshops, and learn some watercolour painting skills. Over the next three years I want to still be running workshops, have my brand sorted and have a variety of downloads on my blog available.

Now it's your turn... I'd love to hear what you goals are and to help you achieve them!

Friday, January 25, 2013

New blog home

Welcome to my new blog home!

It's been a goal of mine to get my branding sorted, and since I changed my business name from Flight Industries to Flight Studios I've had all sorts of incongruities. But slowly and surely like the turtle I am making progress. And this blog is one more goal that gets a tick.

If you have been a follower of me then you know I have some workshops coming up. Small, intro workshops for crafters who are keen to run microbusinesses and need some help with business planning. There are four workshops at four different Brisbane council libraries over Feb and March.

Here are the details from the BrisStyle website:

This workshop will teach you the process of mapping out your hobby to turn it into a micro business. Participants will learn to apply business planning tools and capture their ideas to hatch their creative goals giving them a plan to make their craft/hobby into a successful business venture.

Important Booking Information:
• The same session will be repeated at four different suburban Libraries across Brisbane, therefore you will only need to book into the one session at the library most convienent to you.
• As this is a Library event and different to our normal sessions, the bookings will directed to the central council number and then put through to the relevant libraries.
Maximum number of participants: 25 per session
Bookings Essential

To Book:

• Call the central council booking line on 3403 8888
• Choose between these dates and locations below
• Ask to be put through to the relevant Library to book into your preferred session. Please be patient with the Library staff who will book you in.

WHEN Saturday 2 February
TIME 10am-12noon
WHERE Toowong Library – 9 Sherwood Rd Toowong

WHEN Saturday 9 February
TIME 10am-12noon
WHERE Holland Park Library – 81 Seville Rd, Holland Park East, QLD 4121

WHEN Saturday 2 March
TIME 10am-12noon
WHERE Grange Library – 79 Evelyn St, Grange, QLD 4051
{They have just opened a sweet little coffee shop}

WHEN Saturday 9 March
TIME 10am-12noon
WHERE Coopers Plains Library – 107 Orange Grove Rd, Coopers Plains, QLD 4108

Proudly Presented by BrisStyle Inc. and supported by Brisbane Library Services

And as a special sneak peak here is one of the worksheets I will be using. You can print it out and have a go prior to the workshop.