Wednesday, June 18, 2014

On the Homefront

Winter has certainly arrived here in Tasmania but MONA's Dark Mofo brings everyone out of hibernation for the 10 day Winter Festival which is a celebration of food, art and music and all things weird and wonderful that MONA is famous for. 

Whilst I missed the Ball of Death this evening and have no plans to participate in the Nude Swim, it was quite magical walking around Hobart's waterfront with the Kids.

We said 'hello' to the Giant Blow-up Bunny

And watched the spectacular Light Installation.

On a quieter not,  I've joined an Art class at our local village and it has been so much fun meeting up with a lovely group of ladies each week and doing something for myself during the daytime. These past 10 years I've reserved such crafty things for evenings while the days are spent taking care of the Children but with things about to change around here in a few months I thought I better seize the moment.

I was a bit hesitant taking Flynn along but he has been welcomed with open arms and has so far been an absolute gem. I set him up with a lunchbox full of food and some toys and he is happy as Larry.

Speaking of crafty things, I was extremely fortunate to win this hamper from our local yarn store The Stash Cupboard in celebration of their 2nd Birthday recently. It's full of all sorts of goodies that I can't wait to try out.

I've made a start on a new shawl with the Fyberspates Cumulus, a lace weight yarn that is just gorgeous but the knitting is a hard slog given the tricky lace chart coupled with the fine and fluffy yarn. It's the Baya pattern by Mindy Wilkes from the 2014 Pompom Magazine which you can download now. I absolutely can't wait to get to the garter stitch body where I get to use a whole skein of Madelinetosh for the very first time. I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel like a serious knitter with some Madelinetosh in my possession.

Also on my needles is my second "Follow Your Arrow" Shawl. It's been waiting patiently in the wings for the past 5 months. I was down to my final clue when I got discouraged to see I had 500 rows to go on the border.  

I am also working on my first pair of knitted socks, for no other reason than The Sound Of Music was on TV recently and when Martha requested a pair of pink socks for her 7th Birthday I decided I would like some too. I'm following this Simple Skyp Sock pattern.

It has been slim pickings in the vegetable patch since we decided against planting any winter vegetables while we worked on plans for our larger project.

Thank goodness for that rainy day back in January when Daniel harvested the entire crop of Broad Beans. 

Fortuitously, his parents happened to be here so the shelling was spread amongst many helpers

That second shelling is a pain isn't it?

They've been providing sustenance for almost 6 months now. There's probably still enough left for another 3 years!

 In other news the Chooks have decided to leave their "Chook Palace" and can be found roosting 2 meters up this pine tree every evening. I love that they free-range but it has created a game of hide and seek to find their eggs every day.

Speaking of odd, I walked down the stairs this morning and found the boys eating their breakfast like this. 

I didn't know whether to praise them for eating at the table or be concerned that their love of food outweighed their ability to pull the chairs off the table and sit down for a comfortable meal. 

Finally, I don't know why but I couldn't resist taking this photo of my lovely Husband looking after 8 Children and the Whippet while I enjoyed a nice night out on Saturday with the girls.

And that's just a little bit of what has been going on this last week - a bit of a scatty and random Post with substandard iPhone photos but some weeks are just like that. My blogging Mojo seems to have been swept away with the Autumn leaves so I've also been a little absent around the traps lately.  I think I'm getting back on track now and looking forward to catching up on all your news.

Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along this week.

Hope you are having a good week!

Mel xxx


  1. Hi Mel,

    You've had a busy time recently but good to see that at least some of it is 'you time'.

    Probably goes without saying but I love the Cumulus with the Madelinetosh and I particularly like your colour choices :)

    Have a great Wednesday.


  2. Hey Mel
    Well I for one like to read these posts of randomness. It makes everything in the universe seem so normal. And good for you for joining an art class. I've been toying with joining something when Olly starts school. Not sure what yet though.
    Leanne xx

  3. Love your FYA shawl and the pink socks are amazing! I now have to go rematch the movie as I haven't the faintest idea which scene you are talking about…also, watching The Sound of Music should just be a regular occurrence in life! :)

  4. Fun set of photos! Those colors on you follow-your-arrow shawl are just stunning together, as is that view from your window - I'd happily sit for hours shelling beans if I had that scenery to keep me company!

  5. I love posts with a random collection of facts, I agree with Leanne, it does make everything in the universe seem normal. You are one lucky bunny, winning a basket of wool! And that ginormous bunny is quite a thing, too. I would love to say I am going to art classes, it sounds so much more glamorous than helping out at PTA events, which is all I seem to do just now. Love broad beans but seeing the pictures brings back memories of French bean harvests, trimming millions of French beans, blanching buckets full of French beans, vacuum packing the lot for the freezer.... I really didn't like doing that. Hope the rest of your week is lovely, too.

  6. Looking across to our rows of broad beans as I read this and thinking what a pain it will be to deal with them in one go, but how wonderful to have them in the freezer in the middle of winter. How exciting and grown up to attend an art class - good for the soul to make time to be creative, rather than fitting it around everything and everybody else.

  7. I love random posts, they are very real and just what is happening in the moment and that is great! I hope that you keep enjoying your art class and sock knitting! Love the picture of the boys eating at the table!! xx

  8. Good on you for getting to that art class and having some 'me' time.
    The broad bean harvest is very impressive.
    The chook photo made me smile. They're such funny creatures. x

  9. I loved the photo of them eating breakfast at the table too..........boys, why bother with an extra step of getting the chairs down if you can still eat your breakfast...funny. Glad you are getting to do something nice like an art class for yourself too. Have a good week, the festival looks great. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

  10. Mmm... Broad beans. Love the communal shelling photo. Glad you are getting to an art class, it sounds ideal. Hopefully Flynn can continue to cooperate, you have obviously brought him up well so far!

  11. Such lovely photos Mel, yours always looks like such a happy house. The festival sounds fun (apart from the skinny dipping!)
    We used to have chickens who roosted up a tree, I'd love a couple more one day - the freshly laid eggs were so good.

  12. I love the 'random happenings posts'... a great way to catch up on what you've all been up to. Good on you for attending a craft class and how wonderful Flynn is happy to join along and be so well behaved. I love the chickens in the pine tree photos and as always, am very envious of your knitting xx

  13. Hobart looks amazing in your photos Mel, love that things are happening down there. Tasmania is such a great spot x

  14. Wow, that's a lot of beans! But how nice to have them all stored away ready to use. I love Madeline Tosh as well, I shall treat myself to some next winter I think. Your husband is a complete gem, lucky you having a night out! I hope you have a lovely weekend. CJ xx

  15. You have so many interesting knitting projects on the go at the moment! Broad beans are my favourite vegetable - my dad always grew them in the garden. Love the photo of the boys eating at the table!
    Caz xx

  16. It's a lovely random family post, the best kind. I often wish I'd discovered blogs as memory keepers when my lot were younger.

  17. You have been busy, love the sound of your art classes and the fact that they are child friendly. Our chickens have decided to roost in the peach tree at night now too even when it's pouring with rain?! Enjoy your weekend Mel xo

  18. I so wish I'd been able to get down south for Dark Mofo - I'll definitely have to try for next year (which is, I think, what I said last year!) I think it's brilliant that you're going to an art class - well done! :)

  19. Mel , you are lucky to have art class , wish we have one here too. Lots of loves, hugs, kisses.

  20. I really, really wanted to go to the Death Ball. I think it would have scared the hell out of me, and I would have had to grip on to some ones arm for the duration, but damn it looked fun. The nude swim I would have loved to have said yes to as well but it probably would have stopped my heart in doing so- either from the cold or the shock of seeing my body in so long.
    Enjoy those art classes lovely. xx

  21. What is it about the 'about me' so hard to write? type somethign delete it. type something delete it. good luck with that!

  22. I always really enjoy these random posts, they are full of everyday joys. The art classes sound fun, and good for you for doing something for yourself in the daytime. And I have to say, that is a LOT of broad beans! x

  23. It's so good to read all this. (Your husband is a gem, by the way!) Fin has that fabulous fifth child sense of self sufficiency.
    You have made me feel like resuming the blogging with a bit more gusto. I've stopped reading a lot of that guff with the how to's and the big Kahunas of blogging and the others on their shirt tails. Maybe we just travel at a different speed but it's a good speed and I am going to try to rejoin you now that you've given me some inspiration. Thanks x

  24. Haha, boys! They make me laugh. You are such a busy bee, nothing has changed there :) What a good hubby taking care of all those littlies, I bet they all had a ball xo