Sunday, May 31, 2009

24th Birthday

Simon & Beth at their engagement party last year.

Simon & Beth late 2008

Simon: A few months old.

Liam's been sick, I've been sick, DH hasn't been well and even the computers been sick.
In the meantime, I've done a tiny bit of stitching. My houses and stars are on the quilt. I just need to do the little bit of stitchery beneath the houses.

On the bright side, Simon (second son) celebrated his 24th birthday. First impressions: big, beautiful, hairy and hungry. Simon was a very happy affectionate baby (and he still is).
He was a cheeky little boy with huge green eyes and always up to mischief. On one occasion we had gone to the beach. It was June and freezing. I had him "waterproofed" from head to toe (only his face was exposed). Needless to say he got soaked. I tried! LOL
Then around 16, he propped himself on his elbow on my bed and said "do you know how lucky you are?'' I looked at him questioning as he went on the explain, "How many boys my age would come and give their Muma hug"
One of my favourite memories of him was when I was pregnant with Liam. Simon (18 at the time) asked if I really wanted this baby.
I said "yes, (he waited for more) afterall I love being yours and Adam's mother"
He smiled cheekily at me and said "but I can be a bastard too sometimes".
"Yes, I know...I'm your mother, not stupid"

Simon has grown from an adorable imp to a fine young man. Amy, a close friend of mine once said of Simon. "You don't have to worry about Simon, there will always be someone happy to take care of him" This is so true from us, his brother, friends and colleagues. Simon has a passion for life and an unconscious charm that draw people to him, but yes he can be a bastard, albeit a lovable one.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Autism Awareness Month

May is autism awareness month.

I like this symbol I pinched from Deb's site (in fact she talked me through the process), because we often refer to pieces of the puzzle. It has been said that if you have (say) 70 pieces of the puzzle then you have autism. We all have autistic traits, its an exaggeration of what is normal, so where does autism start and "normalcy" end?
Autism is a puzzle...each person with ASD is unique and we would dearly love to see how our little puzzle sees his world. DH frequently refers to him as a Rubik's cube (though they have solutions) or as an enigma wrapped in a conundrum (which he borrowed from Winston Churchill who was not referring to autism :)) or even as a square peg in a round world. He is all of this and so much more. Autism is both fascinating and perverse.

Mothers Day

Today it is Mothers Day (and my birthday). The sun is shining; Liam woke up as bright as a button at 6.30am. I wasn't quite as bright :)

I made this for Mum last year and got it done just in time for Christmas. Its designed by Natalie Lymer of Cinderberry Stitches and was featured in Australian Homespun (No. 59Vol.9.4). Its rather appropriate as with 3 daughters and 7 grandchildren, she has a fair amount of juggling to do. We all love her dearly.
I had asked Mum what her favourite colour was, to which she replied that she usually wore blue. After pointing out that not what I necessarily meant , she did tell me she loved autumn colours. I had this charm pack of reds which I had shown her and she had liked, so I had my colour scheme. Mum in a blue dress with plenty of autumnal tones. You can see the original colours here

Thats the wonderful thing about the human heart , there's always room for one more to love without diminishing the love for any of the current occupants. I believe the love is enriched by the new addition. I certainly found that to be the case with my sons. Both of them and their girlfriends were quite excited to welcome a new addition to the household. It is always special (especially now that they have left home) when we are all together. Liam is always excited to see them, even if he doesn't show it in the usual way. He is much more animated and excited. Although he may appear to be more interested in watching his film, he certainly knows when they are gone. He becomes quiet. On one memorable occasion he was in tears as soon as the door shut when they left. On another, (when his Dad had to go out unexpectedly) he cried "Dah dee!" as the first door shut and "Oh No!" as the second closed a second later. On both occasions I had to quickly take him outside to at least watch them leave. He also knows when Daddy is due home and will utter Dah Dee and/or go to the window and look out. If Daddy is very late, he shows his displeasure by ignoring him...once only forgiving him when he gave him a bath. Liam loves the water. If Daddy is early, he often gets a big welcome and has run down the hallway to see him. He also likes to climb in bed with him in the morning...DH is NOT a morning person.

BTW, My sister pointed out that I should have mentioned that I had painted the puppy in the previous post. I used folk art paints that blended with the chosen fabrics and textile medium. Actually I rather pleased the recipient turned out to be a little girl given the obsession that cats are for girls and dogs are for boys (at least as far as craft and clothing are concerned).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It started with a puppy

My lovely DIL asked me to make a cot quilt for a close friend of hers.

It started with this gorgeous puppy (Michelle loves dogs) designed by Kerryanne English of Woodberry Designs (published in Handmade vol.26 no.5), and their theme for the nursery in green, yellow, blue ( snug as a bug) & white walls. I changed the clour of the puppy to yellowish and then started playing with other fabrics (particularly moda's butterfly fling); I needed bugs. I also wanted some textural change so I also used some lemon chenille and green flannel (with bugs and frogs on it).
I also sketched a larger version of Kerryanne's snail as a label on the back.
The initial layout was ultimately changed to include a darker yellow. I was really quite proud of myself as the putting together and choice of fabrics had been mine. I was also quite surprised when my husband really liked the quilt. Mind you that may have been Kerryanne's lovely puppy. (Anyone interested in Kerryanne's designs can check out her blog "Shabby Art Boutique"_see my sidebar. Or you can see her puppy here I hope :))

I always get a little possessive of quilts that I make, I have to "keep" them for a day or so before I can let them go. Yet I love giving them or stuff that I have painted for a particular person to them. I think its because there is a lot of me in that is a link between them & me.
Unfortunately for my DIL, there was a slight but interesting (to me anyway) diversion from this. I was not possessive of it for me, but rather for my DIL. I guess you should beware of what you ask for LOL.

More importantly Michelle loved the quilt. She had a gorgeous little girl called Isabella a couple of weeks later.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Doing the next right thing

"Just do the next right thing, even if that means just getting up in the morning"

When my second son was in primary school, I would often ask him to tidy up his room (it would be nice to see the floor :)). His response was that he didn't know where to start. I would tell him to just pick something (anything) up.
This is not far different from where my head has been lately. Months of denial have crashed into my psyche. The room is a mess and something needs to be done, but all I seemed able to do was ameliorate the situation with chocolate, tears and Liam cuddles. Perhaps Kirk Douglas is right and being depressed is somewhat narcissistic, but I believe that sometimes we need to cry and let it all out. So he's severely intellectually disabled. So what? It wasn't long ago that I spent most of 3 months lying on the floor cuddling him, just wishing he would eat and drink, smile and be healthy. He's healthy and very happy why am I so tearful.
I have always said I just want my sons to be happy...Liam is happy, perhaps the happiest person I know. He is also very loving and is adored (and not just by us). Yet I've somehow infused "happiness" with other expectations, hopes and dreams. I want him to be independent, to be successful at whatever he chooses to do, to love and be loved (even when we are gone), to be healthy, to have friends, to be a good man (like his brothers).
During this time, I received the aforementioned advice and its allowed me to move forward. Appointments have been made and kept, a blog started (one must be careful visiting Deb LOL), a swimming pool visit, stitching and back to weight watchers. Our new motto is to plan for the worst and work for and hope for the best.
Ok, I've slipped already re chocolate, but as my middle son once said "Mum you have a problem". Will someone please invent chocobate ;)

On doing the next right thing....the piccy in the last post was the early stages of "The Wish Quilt" by Bronwyn Hayes that featues in Australian Homespun magazine (vol. 9 Nos. 7-9). This quilt top is still in a work in slow ( I'm just slow) progress. Had another pic, but it won't load will try again later.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Red Rags

I thought I'd show you a piccy of what my DH thought were red rags on the floor.

Imagine my horror as I asked him to download my craft images (from before xmas) only to find one horribly blurry pic I had just taken.
"But where are the rest" I exclaimed.
"Thats all there was. Its not very good" he said
"But, but what about the cot quilt and the stuff I made at christmas..."
"Just take some more" said he
" I don't have them anymore" (not happy me)
It transpired that he had needed the memory card for console games (arrgh!) and had downloaded the images onto his laptop a couple of weeks earlier. He has only just found them this week!!!

Will show you more piccies soon. Just want to make sure this worked :)