10 Aug

 We’ve had a couple of firsts lately…

First fringe (bangs).  Because the side fringe is in.

First day of 3-year-old Kinder–he loves it! 

At 15mo. the firsts are coming fast and furious (say that five times fast).  Mainly she likes to master climbing things.  She has long since mastered the table or countertop–more recently she did have her first successful climb to the top of the piano…

Better Something than Nothing…

30 Jul

Dear Gail,

Um, I don’t know if you noticed, but it’s been awhile since I last wrote on the blog…

(I know we’ve been emailing, but blogging really is great when you have a lot of images to insert!)

When I saw you in May/June

 I told you about a few major upcoming things I had on.

First was the Geelong Bible Conference on July 9 & 10. 

The speaker was David Cook who was rumoured to be one of the best preachers in Australia.  He did not disappoint.  His words from Matthew on the “Unheeded Teachings of Christ” were excellent.  A series of sermons that make you see the filth in your own life and the purity of Christ.  It’s been almost a month and I have not stopped thinking about several things he said. 

On July 23rd was Maia’s Market.

Other than the “Cranberry Festival” in Wisconsin I have never been to anything like a Market much less been in one.  I really had no idea what to expect.  I went back and forth between, “I have too much stuff–this will never sell!” and “I don’t have enough–I am going to have the sparest looking stall ever!”  And don’t get me started on how to know how to price things!  I finally just decided to make stuff that I liked and I would buy.  That way if nothing sold then I was quite happy to keep what I made (and give it to my friends/family as gifts for the next ten years).  I also just looked forward to sitting with three of my friends and chatting for six hours!

I had the stall with Megan (book carving art), Jeana (textile artist), and Jane (cards and broaches).  None of us had done anything like this before, so it was a steep learning curve for us all.

Here are the things I made in addition to some recycled tee-shirt necklaces, hairclips (okay, actually Josh made these because I ran out of time!) and felt bunting which I never photographed:

Felt baby booties.  These were very fun to make.  They were good to make with kids around because you could stop at any point without them being ruined (unlike painting).  I think I made these all in June after I got back from seeing you.  Then I got really sick of making them and haven’t made any more since.

I sold all of the boy booties and a few of the larger sizes of girl booties.  There is so little cute boy stuff out there that I think that is why they did so well.

Next I moved on to felt broaches.  These were kind of labour intensive so I only made eight.  This was good because I didn’t sell any.  I think I had then priced to high, plus every other stall there was selling some type of broach and they were all very, very creative.

After I got sick of making broaches, I turned to drawing–although first I pulled out a few old things I had laying in the bottom of drawers.  I slapped a mat on them and sold all but this one:

I found an old dictionary with yellowing pages at a thrift store.  At Christmas I had drawn a few pictures on the old pages for little gifts for the guys.  People seemed to like them so I drew a series of pictures for the market.  First I did a series of minibeasts.  I sold the grasshopper, butterfly and flies.  I had also made matted prints of all the artwork I had for sell and I sold several prints of them as well for 1/2 the price of the original.

(click on an image to enlarge it)

Next I drew a series on mythology.  I sold “Medusa” at the market and then the person who bought that came to me the next day and asked to buy the rest!

I also drew an anatomy series.  I sold the heart and lungs (and a few prints of the heart).

The frog was leftover from Christmas.  I think it might also be the first one I drew?  A friend from church bought it.

 As fun as it is to draw, I really enjoy painting more, but I can’t even start on a painting till the kids are in bed and everything is set for the next day.  That means I only have about an hour which is not much time.  I really wanted to paint a few things though, so I did this series of four “flower girls” in the week before the market, staying up way too late to complete them!

I liked them enough to price them high at the market hoping they wouldn’t sell… and they didn’t.  I did however, make the prints of them into little notepad covers and into sets of four cards with envelopes.  Those sold pretty well.  I wanted to make a colouring book of them as well, but I ran out of time (and would need a few more pictures too).  I tried to choose flowers that could double as girl’s names hoping that that might draw more interest from mums and grandmas…

Overall it was a good experience.  Getting it all ready and setting it up felt a little bit like playing “store” as a kid.  I think I would probably do it again (there are two more markets this year I could do…) but I really only want to do it as long as it is fun.  I would hate to ruin a fun hobby by making it into a job that I have to do.  Also, dollar per hour I could really make more relief teaching, but doing this is more fun and I don’t have to find a babysitter.

I have never tried to sell my stuff before so it is a really strange thought that people I don’t know have my artwork up on their walls!

Okay, this is it for now.  Maybe I will post again before six months go by?  The stress we have had of all these big projects has passed (and we sold our car!), so things have settled down considerably.

Give everyone a hug for me.  I was very homesick after I saw you all in May/June.  It was startling how much I have missed out on.  I was hoping we could swing coming home for Christmas, but I crunched the numbers and thanks to the strong Aussie dollar and weak American one, ticket prices are really high and at this point we have only half the money we would need to come.  Sigh.

Really going now…



We’re Thankful For…

25 Nov

On this Thanksgiving Day we are very, very thankful  for our Dad (and Grandpa).  We hope he has a very happy birthday and enjoys his pe-can pie.


Gail and Sarah (and the spouses/grandkids)


21 Oct

So no one is going to say anything about my “up ‘n’ adam” phrase from Oct 12?!  You are all really too nice.  My husband is not…he was practically rolling on the floor and has greeted me with it more than one morning.  He thought I should leave it to test our friendship (y’all failed).

So yeah, I really thought it was “Adam.”  Something about being the first one up?  I did claim from the beginning “me no kan rite n speek good.”  At least I can laugh at myself.

In other news…

Our computer crashed early this week so I am only now resurfacing from the multitudinous emails.  I do plan on putting up the photos from Mom and Dad’s last week, but I’m not sure when I will get to it.  It has been a monstrous week with things on every day and night.  Tonight we have Alastair’s retirement party…tomorrow we are off to Adventure Park…Sunday we have the Youth Group for lunch…Monday we have our first “Hanen Program”…you get the idea….  Priorities, priorities!

Right, must get ready for playgroup.  Oscar is currently sporting one piece pyjamas with his sister’s pink belt around his waist and a floppy sun hat.

What have you been up to?



Happy Birthday Eva!

16 Oct

Auntie Sarah

The End of Tassie

14 Oct

We had three more amazing days in Tasmania before we journeyed home.

On the Wednesday we took a small ferry over to Bruny Island and once there took a breathtaking 3 hour cruise around the southernmost point–nothing but water between us and Antarctica.  The cruise was amazing.  The cliffs and birds and caves and blowholes and seals and weather were perfect–until 1/2 way through our 3 hour tour the weather started getting rough and our tiny ship was tossed.  If not for the courage of the fearless crew…wait, wrong story….  A rough storm did catch us and although it was a “fun” experience I just as soon never do it again.  Even with all our layers of clothes and thick head-to-toe ponchos the icy salt water was pelted into our faces and we all got chilled.  I’m guessing this combined with our trip to the top of Mt. Wellington is what set dad off into a 3-day migraine and turned Mom’s cold into bronchitis.  Still, we had a great time and I think we would all do it again–but check the weather forecast first!

Thursday was clear and sunny so we decided to head to the top of Mt. Wellingon.  We were warned it would be cold and I thought we were prepared, but wow.  The wind just took your breath away.  The view was unreal–like really you couldn’t quite believe it was true it was so incredible.  We might have liked to stay and look all day, but Pippa screamed and screamed when I took her out so she and I hung out in the car until Oscar discovered that he did NOT like the feel of the snow on bare fingers and started screaming his head off!  So we cut the trip short and headed back to the warmth of the Salamanca Market where we enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Tricycle and the kids chased birds and “played” chess.

Friday we packed up and spent the day picking our way back to Devonport to catch the overnight ferry home.  We told rounds of stories and played word games and tried to teach Ella some “knock, knock” jokes (she’s pretty good at the “interrupting cow” joke now) and sipped coffees in country towns while perusing their antique and craft shops and then our trip wound itself to the finish.


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The trip to Tasmania was wonderful.  Definitely one of those once-in-a-lifetime trips that won’t soon be forgotten.  I was nervous how it would all go with two little kids that still take naps throughout the day, but we decided to just go for it and the kids rallied wonderfully.  It was strange to come home and go to church the next day.  We had done and seen so much it was hard to believe that we had really been at church just the previous Sunday.  The memories are particularly precious now that Dad has so suddenly lost his vision.  I love that I got to see and experience those things with him and Mom.  I’m not sure now if another trip to Australia will be on the cards for the them again.




Tassie Day #2

13 Oct

We took it easy the next day (not that it means I didn’t take a million photos).  We headed to the Salamanca Market where we enjoyed coffee at Retro, browsing the shops (no surprise “The Faerie Shop” was Ella’s favourite), “playing” a giant game of chess, followed by a mouth-watering lunch at Plum.  In the afternoon we headed to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary where Dad fell in love with the Tasmanian Devils, Josh got to smell a koala (surprise–it smells like eucalyptus), and we all got to hand-feed the kangaroos (Oscar tried to feed them some of their own roo-poo, but they did not go for it).


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