a little bag

crocheted bag- cityhippyfarmgirl

crochet bag- cityhippyfarmgirl

A soft light of a new day outside, and I’m well into my second cup of chai. There is a streaky grey sky morning about to break through and all is quiet. With little people still tucked up in their beds, a new day lays before me.

It’s 5.30 am and the day was going to be a busy.

Biscuits to make, boys to take and a check list that needs crossing off one and a half pages long; but my mind is only half on it. I want to make a little bag. A little bag with colours and tassels, a little bag for a little girl.

Colours were chosen, scraps of wool divided out and the bag already finished in my head. But it wasn’t to be. That bag lay dormant for another whole month until finally, there it was, finished. Not exactly as I had imagined it, (but things made by me rarely are.)

She loved it, and I was happy to make her something out of bits I already had.

crochet- cityhippyfarmgirl

warm and wonky




Finally finished

the little blanket with the 20 cent church sale balls of wool in it

warm and wonky

to fit on a lap, to play under

to smile at when I look at all the learning curves I put in there

the odds and ends stretched out to try and use them all up

my first crochet blanket

(funny little thing it is.)

loving….words and pictures

sydney writers festival

Head On


“Often life’s pleasures pass us by simply because we don’t take a moment to focus on them… Make a point of noticing everyday something that uplifts your spirit or tickles your heart… Stop to breathe in the joy of this moment and then tell someone about it. Share your joy and revel in it. When your joy is savoured, and then shared, it is magnified…” ROBIN GRILLE

Sydney Writers Festival I adore you. You are nothing but inspiring and on weekends like this I love every. single. inch, of this fair city. Truly inspired…loving that.

Head On photographic exhibition…so many stunning pictures. So many, talented people out there wielding a camera.… loved every single one of them.

Watching a little blanket grow. It started with some really unlikely colours, using what I had on hand and not a hint of an idea or plan, but I think (with fingers and toes crossed) it’s coming together, (in a rustic mixy matchy kind of way)….and I’m loving that.

Stories of tea. Getting to read all your beautiful stories of tea. I was incredibly touched that so many of you took the time to share a tea story with me. There were so many lovely stories I decided to change it to three winners.

Amber @Quinces and Cumquats


Rose @Greening the Rose

Thank you to everyone, I wish I could have given you all some tea.

What are some of those moments that have tickled your heart lately?

spring in my step


It looks like we are springing in to spring round these parts. The light is different, days longer, clothing layers are slowly being peeled off and jasmine…

Beautiful jasmine is flowering on local suburban fences, where I’ll quite often smell it before I see it. A gorgeous soft delicate smell that I’m sure to my end of days will always remind me of my mother. It’s such a favourite flower with her. A tiny sprig is just enough to scent the air, enough to turn heads that say “Ooooh, what’s that lovely smell?

Blue sunny skies and cold seas are enticing little feet in. Sand is being strewn, holes are being dug and shivery skinny bodies are being dried off. Part of me wants to listen to the sea’s siren song and go swimming. The other part of me says, oh hell no, it’s still way too cold in there. Maybe in a few months…

I’m still crocheting too. I keep getting side tracked with different projects though, which is making it tricky to finish anything. A little bit here and a little bit there. Stolen moments that slowly add stitches while creations grow. I’m not sure what is more appealing at the moment, the prospect of making something and fueling that creative drive or the calming meditative effect repetitive stitches has on me. Either way, it’s working.

Goodbye to winter which I always adore. Winter and all she has to offer. The warming foods, seasonal vegetables, looped scarves, and a cooler time to stop, think and plan. With spring now here though, there is a new vibrancy. A new sense of growth and energy, both internally and around me… an energy that I’m sure will put just a little spring in my step.

What’s happening with you and your change of seasons?

slow living

Slowing it down just a little more.

Some things have felt very rushed this last month, busy, busy, busy. Go, go, go. Sleep a little and then repeat. This post is a nice little reminder that not all was like that in the last month and in fact there was a whole lot of ‘slowness’ going on.

Slow living, slow food, slow entertainment and slow thoughts. I’m very appreciative of them all at the moment.

Create- Another crocheted hat with ears. This one is a gift for a babe with the bluest of blue eyes. It’s winter and that little baby head doesn’t have a wisp of hair. The crochet project bag is looking a little full, I’m happy about that though. Options.

Also played with some vegetable stamps. The bok choy being the winner so far.

Grow- The rosemary is holding on and looks happy and healthy. Everything else in the pots is looking a little sad, sorry and wintery. Whoever said, “Anyone who can’t grow mint, should just give up now”… well I think they are particularly mean.

Nourish- More bready, scroll type things. Half sourdough and half dried yeast. I filled these with almond pesto, fetta/ tomato, and ham/ mozzarella. Monkey Boy declared that six was probably enough for him, but he might be able to eat another one in a little bit. Hollow legs you see… and I’m beginning to get a little nervous of the teen hollow belly years.

I also discovered that radishes were delicious steamed. Tossed in with a little silverbeet, olive oil, salt pepper, and the clincher- curry powder on top. Served with a fetta omelette. It had a high probability of not working, but it did. It so did, (to be fair Mr Chocolate didn’t think it worked quite so well as I did.)

Reduce- Thinking well ahead of time for birthday gifts that will be needed throughout the year. It’s incredibly satisfying making something, upcycling something or revamping something as a gift.

Discover- I started reading Pathways magazine. It caught my attention on-line, and then my chiropractor had them to give away for free. Loving that. Free, with an awesome read that seems to fit in exactly to my head space at the moment.

Enhance/Connect- I met up with two friends in the park. Five kids and two babies. One empty popcorn packet= three hours of fun. Not a peep, not a pester, not a whinge or a whine.  just a whole lot of fun. That is incredibly satisfying as a parent. The Monkeys followed this up by playing with our clothes pegs for two hours when we got home. Laser shooting flying whales I think was the stand out one.

Enjoy-  I was lucky enough to be given a gift voucher from a good friend for a massage. Ooooooo, yes.

Lying there, draped in warm blankets, I could feel the tension just silently slide away. With each sweep of her determined hands, another muscle broke down into what felt like a pool of melted butter.

Ahhh, bliss…


Pop on over to Slow Living Essentials, where the lovely Christine has a whole lot more Slow Living going on.


Finished crocheted cowl

just in time for cold wild windy Sundays

nibbling on soft sweet

Vanilla Champagne Coconut Cupcakes

thinking about the next jazzed up caesar salad

and marvelling at how quickly

a baby girl can grow


What are you up to this Sunday?


(to all the mama’s, Happy Mothers Day. You do an awesome job.)

Slow Living February 2012

First up, a huge thank you to all the lovely, lovely well wishes from my last post. We are still taking things nice and slow, and really enjoying this precious babymoon time. I’m still around, quietly reading your blogs and really appreciate any comments thrown my way as well.

I will be posting here and there with a few posts I have up my sleeve until I get used to our new family rhythm. For now though, here’s what was happening round these parts slow living style in Feb.

Slow Living February 2012

(an awesome concept created by the lovely Christine over at Slow Living Essentials)

NOURISH: Mr Chocolate has taken over the kitchen in the last two weeks, which I have to say has been fantastic. There has been a steady supply of chocolate chip biscuits, (now perfected) lots of tasty healthy meals for a hungry mama and a few well timed containers of deliciousness from awesome friends. Perfect.

PREPARE: I had been stocking up my freezer with ready to go meals, or little things that can be easily cooked up quickly. A few rolls of biscuit dough can make things a whole lot easier when there are school lunch boxes that still need to be filled and hungry little hands being held out. Now if only that freezer was twice as big, THEN I would be sorted.

REDUCE: Making use of my mum’s rather hefty sized stash of retro terry towelling. A new change table cover, and some little wipes sewn up. So much more interesting than standard bought ones.

GREEN: I’m still using the bicarb to wash my hair. So easy, and I really love not having to rely on shampoo to get my hair clean.

GROW:  My little pots still continue to struggle on. Too wet, too dry, not enough sun… the usual cityhippyfarmgirl garden goings on. I still like having some sort of greenery to look out to though. A little rosemary to rub between my fingers, a chilli or two to pluck… a caterpillar or three to squash under my shoe. I’m also still thinking about an olive tree in a pot, or perhaps a gardenia… or a bay. It’s for our placental planting, so if anyone has any tips or has done this before with good results in a pot I would love to hear from you.

CREATE: I’ve been hooking a cowl. After putting it over Mr Chocolate’s head 53 times, (to get an idea of what on earth I’m doing) I’m still not sure about the over all look. But I am loving the colours, and the rhythm of crocheting has been really relaxing…hook, hook, hook.

ENHANCE: I was the lucky recipient of this bag full of garden goodness from my lovely midwife. Home grown… just tastes so much better.

ENJOY: New life… yep, I’m completely smitten.

making and getting ready


A happy crocheted mobile. It’s colourful, I made it and it didn’t come in plastic packaging. Now, just waiting for little toes to gently kick it.

“Scrappy and Scoot”, my first soft toys. Definitely not the most sophisticated of efforts, but they were made from scraps of fabric, I did it, and there isn’t a made in China tag on them… I’m happy with that.

Celebration pom poms. Reusuable and decorative. You can’t help but smile every time they go up.

Getting ready…

There is a different energy round these parts. A shift, a change…expectancy is hanging in the air.

Tomorrow Monkey Boy starts a new school year. A new lunch box, a new class, a new teacher…he’s excited. I’m nervous. Will his teacher be as wonderful as last year?

A change for Little Monkey as well. No more big brother at home to play with during the day.

Expectancy also circulates me. With a belly now so big, waiting…

Excited… It could be weeks off, but waiting for those beginnings of labour to start.

chocolate and strawberries

Chocolate and strawberries…

Strawberries and chocolate…

There is a lot to like with those combinations.

Lots of ideas, lots of variations to play with…. whatever you do though…don’t do anything like the very average cake I made. Good quality dark chocolate, check. Lovely tasty strawberries whizzed up to make a beautiful red mush, check. Combined together to make a cake that Little Monkey and I refused to eat, Monkey Boy ate very slowly and Mr Chocolate asked whether he had to finish it? Not a success…nope not at all.

Never mind, we still have strawberries and chocolate.

I also finally finished a crocheted hat in strawberry and chocolate colours. Still learning, still trialing, but now I can wear my funny lumpy warm efforts. Chocolate alpaca wool from my mums alpacas, spun by my mum, crocheted by me, and keeping my ears warm. Along with my fingerless gloves, (in strawberry and chocolate.) Lessons learnt…. alpaca wool is lovely and warm, it’s good to make stuff, and taking a picture of your hand and head is hard…quite hard.

Never mind, we still have strawberries and chocolate.

dressing for the season

It’s been cold here the last few days. Not Hobart cold, not Melbourne cold, not Dusseldorf cold and not Lapland cold… but Sydney cold. Cold enough for people to walk a bit quicker. For the Monkeys to make hot breath drawings and cold enough for me to want to keep frantically crocheting something warming and useful.

It took me 32 years to work out that if it’s cold, I should dress warmly. Crazy huh? (not just by wearing jeans that are long enough.)

Why had it taken so long for me to work out and why did it take an ayurvedic consultant to point that one out to me?

I have no idea. But, I’m happy to report that since that fateful day, I have tried to dress appropriately and not looked back.

Winter now sees looped scarves, warm thick socks and sensible layers. Not that I was ever one to zip about in mini skirts and high heels in the middle of winter. I did though, regularly wear just one up from summer clothing, and wondered why I didn’t like the cold so much. The cold is only miserable, if you are cold. Once again, crazy isn’t it?

Dressing appropriately in a cold environment lets you in on a whole different world. For one, I can now actually see the world, rather than hunched over, staring at my feet, trying to generate some warm thoughts down to my frozen toes.

Thankfully I’d already cottoned on to the the fact that if you dressed appropriately in rainy weather, that also was enjoyable…and that only took me 25 years to work that one out.

a new monkey hat

Thankfully Little Monkey is still young enough to want to wear most things I put him in. I’m sure if I strapped a pancake to his head, secured it with a ribbon and it kept out the sun, he would still wear it.

I think…

Pancakes aside, but with this philosophy in mind, I started crocheting my first hat.

I had the wool, I had the hook, and I had the image of a lovely warm colourful number. A hat to keep small ears warm, with the little imp running around and looking  rather dashing in his new hat at the same time.

Now I just had to harness that imagery and put it into practise. Crochet and I were new friends, quite new friends. I was still practising and wasn’t quite sure how to make a hat rather than a… well, a pancake.

Now, how do I make it all go in again?…

Ah well, lets get cracking anyway.

Reclaimed wool from my mum, who in turn had reclaimed it from someone else. Stolen moments at the playground after school to crochet, and a week and a half later Little Monkey can now wear his new pancake… I mean hat.