Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

My family headed out today to celebrate the last day of the year.
Our destination was Old Parliament House Gardens to enjoy peace and serenity, 
blossom and green, a picnic lunch on the lawn.

There we found some favourite flowers
including the above Ringlet Rose which Ess has claimed her favourite this year.

This pretty little Violet
(they will forever remind me of my newest niece now)

We enjoyed a picnic lunch under the trees
 and watched the girls play a few games together
while we tried to keep our baby from rummaging through the picnic basket and esky too dangerously.

My finds include this gorgeous bell flower which I'd love to know more about, perhaps to even grow it in my garden.  Do tell me if you can identify it!

And this delicate single petal rose 'Dainty Bess'.  It is held fondly in the bosom of my memories as my mother grew it in our family home, perhaps it's still there, I must ask her.

I recall it as a favourite of hers.
I couldn't quite understand why as a child.
I saw many more beautiful flowers.
I saw so very many of these decorating our home.
Yet Mum loved it's delicate beauty...
and now, of course, I see exactly what she means.

It's curious that my Ess has already found beauty in a similar rose, 
Ringlet Rose.

As a friend of mine said to me earlier this evening:
"Hope 2012 is full of good things and peaceful hearts, 
lots of love and belly laughs"
Happy New Year.

The Days of Christmas

Agapanthus just bursting into bud in my back garden

How have you been enjoying your 12 days of Christmas?

We have enjoyed:
~ Preparing and tossing out reindeer food for them to forage while we slept.

~ Setting out crocs with carrots also for the reindeer.
It was lovely to watch Ess count the appropriate number of carrots in each pair of shoes
- sorted according to age.
Four in each for my big Ess, two in each for my middle Eee,
and one and a little bit for my baby Jae.

~ Eating delicious meals

~ Watching (and waiting for) glorious sunsets

~ Lazing a little in the garden

Most of our time has been spent at home, together as a family, 
enjoying our visitor (my Dad) and
working on our new house some more.

We have spent much time in the garden
lopping, pruning, removing weed trees (privet and cotoneaster), 
improving soil with gypsum and cow manure,
mulching and planning planting to come very soon.
The most exciting part!

We've also been enjoying rediscovering hidden plants such as this hydrangea which was hidden behind the barbeque, growing towards our neighbour.

The agapanthus are just about to come into bloom to welcome in the new year.
While they are certainly not my favourite bloom and I probably wouldn't have planted them myself, 
I will definitely enjoy the beauty they bestow.

I am baffled to hear about many who have already taken down their Christmas trees.
Certainly Christmas is a time for us to relax a little, be less organised after the rush of preparation, 
to enjoy all there is to enjoy in the wonder and magic of the festive season.

All our Christmas decorations are still adorning our family home, 
we are still enjoying reading Christmas stories occasionally, 
hearing and singing some Christmas music,
and relaxing with family.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ess is Eight!

As has become tradition for our Ess' birthday, we found a beach to explore.  This one is on the South Coast of NSW.  I really do miss having easy and convenient access to the beach as we did in South Australia.  Indeed I miss South Australian beaches and seaside towns - they are just less developed, less commercial and more rustic.  Nevertheless the girls had fun playing in sand and water.  It was a lovely time.  (I shouldn't be so critical should I after my first trip down this way.  Forgive my pining heart for the home that was :))

First of course, we had to bake, decorate and eat cake.

For as long as I can remember Ess has wanted to have this octopus for her eighth birthday.

Apparently she has "wanted the octopus for ages but it only looked good as an eight".

Indeed it does, I'm sure you'll agree.

I used to bake and decorate for my girl - now Ess is very much involved in the whole process.  I think she really baked the chocolate cake quite independently, now that I think back on it.  She made the icing, coloured it to her liking, and is really keen to learn how to spread it.  It's a tricky job but she'll get there as Mum learns to let go more and let her just try!

This is Broulee Beach.
South Coast, New South Wales.
A nice spot for some beach fun...

and creating a new beach fan in our little baby.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Our New Place: Becoming home

Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest.
~Henry Van Dyke

Sunset viewed from our lounge room window

It has been a whirlwind: these past three months.

Yet we finally made it.

Some old roses discovered under the canopy
 of the weeping cherry.

We have finished the contract,
we have purchased a house, 
we have moved into it,
we are making it home.

Two of my cherubs pruning their natural cubby
 - a weeping cherry.

There are still many, many boxes to unpack, 
things to sort out and decide whether we really need and want.
After having lived in quite meagre situations this year, 
we have a renewed perspective.

A full rainbow viewed to the east - over our backyard.

Yet there are many things we will treasure and hold on to, 
many things we will use once again when we settle.
I am particularly missing knowing where all my craft things are,
so I can easily access my scissors, my fabric, my patterns...

It became a double bow!

As we sort and store, and rejoice in the discovery of things
 we have done without for most of this year, 
we make our home.
Sharing the unpacking days with the children
means little is achieved at once, 
but we make our home together.

Another sunset viewed from our front porch.

So enjoy these picture of the surrounds of our new place,
and if you are ever nearby, do pop in to say Hi!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tiny Pillow for playful little heads

 I really like the Bobble-Shell Edging devised by Lucy at Attic 24.
 It was the perfect finish to this little pillow I made for my precious little Eee to use for her little toys as she lays them to bed around the house each day, every day.
 I had just finished making a tension square for a new top I plan to knit for myself this summer.
Not bothering to frog it back, I couldn't see the sense in throwing it out when it would be a simple job to crochet around the edge to join them, stuff with some poly-fill, then finish with the bobble-shell edging.
It makes such a precious sweet pillow for little Emily (I think that's what her name was today!).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Look who's One!

My little baby J has turned one!

We celebrated with a delicious Lumberjack Cake by Not Quite Nigella.  You must explore her site if you haven't already.  Her work is delicious.

We enjoyed a ride on the Carousel in Civic with friends who have made this a family ritual to celebrate birthdays.  Indeed it was such a sweet thing to do, I think we should also make it a birthday ritual.
If indeed we last that long in this part of the country.

Meanwhile, we are currently in a contract to purchase a house.  All is proceeding OK but we are not doing so without extreme caution.  Neither of us could say we are excited.  Neither of us can see that it is actually going to happen.  The events of this year have knocked it all out of us.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

iPhone brings us together

“I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.” ~ Steve Jobs, Apple CEO [NBC Nightly News, May 2006]

Bird on the Wire
at our home

I've been thinking about writing this post for such a long time and with the very sad loss of Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, this week.  I thought I should make the time to write again.  

Since my life became transient this year and with a need to purchase a new mobile phone I decided I could go with nothing less than the iPhone.  I found the deal with Virgin to be very good and suitable for our needs costing just $49 per month.  Allowing us internet access on the go as well as $300 worth of phone calls each month.
Peace and Serenity at Lake Burley Griffin
A greater pull towards the iPhone however was the fact that my brother and sister-in-law in Belfast have iPhones, along with my sister and brother-in-law in country NSW.  I knew they were texting each other for free and phoning for free and I really wanted to be part of their lives in this way.

Reflections at Floriade
Is there a more beautiful flower than the Tulip?
And so while my life has been turbulent this year, I have found that connections with my family have been much greater.  Connections via iPhone have been enhanced and time taken to enjoy them has been to the detriment of this blog and for that I am sad.  So I would like to ask you to follow me, if you will.  I twitter more these days, search for me @ceelewis if you twitter also.  I'd love to follow you and connect with you there.

Silver Birch leaves as lacework
at Commonwealth Park

I am also an avid Instagramer.  Do you Instagram?  Search for me there if you do, I'm @ceelew.

Tulips of Floriade
Nerang Pool, Commonwealth Park

All the photos you see here in this blog post have been well liked on Instagram and I very much enjoy sharing and connecting with that community. It consists both of family members and other great photographers.
Nerang Pool, Commonwealth Park

So enjoy this little glimpse of Canberra and pop over and join me at Twitter and Instagram.

Thankyou to Steve Jobs for his wonderful creativity and inventions which serve to connect us in new ways.

You know I really am just a bit lazy, or tired with my young family.  Call it what you will! Using my iPhone I can lie down on the lounge and relax while I twitter and instagram, in order to write my blog posts and share photos here, I need to get up to the iMac.  It's a great machine - but it feels like work ;)

So my dear friends and followers, please continue to follow me and connect.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


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