Monday, April 23, 2012

Sharing Some Birthday Goodness

My birthday came and went and what a great couple of days it was. I thought it might be fun to share a photo diary of this weekends festivities. 
Turning 35 gave me the space to look at the things afresh, to realise what's really important to me and to do some Autumn time gardening and creating.
It's been a lovely week.

I've been busy cutting out material for more bags ready for sewing, organising the first of the crayon packs for the Etsy shop and thinking of some cute bunting to brighten up winter. I never seem to have enough time though.
It feels like l fight the clock daily and only get through half the things l had hoped to achieve. My little Miss Poppy has needed lots of attention, hugs and craft activities to keep her happy so I have tried to keep things simple and not be so hard on myself if things have gone astray.
 But most of all l have really tried to enjoy the Poppy and I time.
She's growing up so quickly.
We have been painting with watercolour, making towers out of stacking boxes, going on long scooter adventures in search of leaves and all things botanical and l have found a haven in working on my rice paper lampshade for the 
Mother's Unmasked Exhibition coming up. It's been cathartic putting my emotions and the symbols of my motherhood journey and story on paper. 

And to end the week spending time with my lovely friends Bel, Sophie, Amber, Tracy and the men in their life at home hanging out, at the Finders Keepers Market enjoying lovely Melbourne designers, apple cider and birthday cupcakes and at Ripe 
for an Autumn Sunday morning breakfast. 
I received beautiful sunflowers, natives and ornamental kale, beautiful artwork by SweetWilliam that has gone straight up on my kitchen wall for inspiration and some treasured
 Emily Green jewellery from my lovely husband.I realise that your friends are those that really get you and mine do.
I'm a lucky girl and l know it.

x Mummafox

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Media Jungle and the theme of Motherhood

Why is it that media and our society believes that it is acceptable to tell us that we are lacking, that we aren't doing a good enough job without the latest fad, product, parenting technique or look. 

Why is it that we believe the hype? 

I don't often have the opportunity for in-depth discussions with other women or mums about their experiences of how print media, advertising and the information online affects them but the theme of community, parenthood and womanhood is of great interest to me. I'm lucky to have an amazing group of friends that are also thinking about these very issues and have made the effort to create community in their lives.

 I've been attending a group called Motherhood Unmasked  ( where we have been exploring the themes and faces of motherhood and it's got me thinking. 

I wonder how many of us feel like we are all alone in this journey of motherhood. And on a broader level l wonder how many of us sit comfortably with societies take on parenthood and the many layers of this expansive topic- Making the choice to have a baby, with or without medical issues involved, how to care and bring up that baby and how to do it confidentially.  I've been reading some really thought provoking stuff on a couple of friend's blogs see and and it gave food for thought about our role as parents and how much responsibility we have to do it the right way. I've realised that so often we remain silent, we don't actively encourage or go out of our way to create a community where these dialogues can be entered into in a safe and positive way. Well l want this to be a blog to be a place where that can happen. 

I left a status update on Facebook as a response to my experiences last week where I had to dig deep and realise the depth of media brainwashing that l had also taken on that drills into you how to be a certain kind of parent. I wanted parents to know they weren't alone, especially mums and it was incredible the responses l got. I'd be really interested to hear people's thoughts about it and create an opportunity to dialogue about this and encourage one another in our motherhood and parenting journey. And it's not just about the mothers either I watch Adam care, play and struggle with Poppy and i know his journey is just as important. As l blog this Adam is teaching Poppy to brush her teeth with her electric toothbrush with her teddy Fudge the laughter alone is a beautiful thing to hear.

This week l have been gentle with myself as l try to toilet train my little two year old I confess I have had times where l have wanted to tear my hair out. There have been good days and bad but it's not meant to be a flawless and unwinding road. I know I'm not alone and my message to all the parents this week is YOU ARE NOT ALONE! 
I think as long as we let out little people know they are loved, treasured and important in the world and in our lives then it'll be OK. A few battles during mealtimes and arguments ending with kisses, hugs and apologies is just part and parcel of living together. I applaud all the parents out there it's usually a thankless task but Thank You.

X Mummafox

Saturday, April 14, 2012

PoppyFox- My First Ramble

It’s a strange and unusual place to find yourself. A stay at home mum after a lifetime in the workforce. I was such a workaholic. Over committed and a little encumbered by the Christian philosophy to help and support others. Being a social worker/counsellor in a full time job seems like a lifetime ago but really it wasn't that long ago. I'm now a mother, at home and trying to find my way back to my creativity and authentic self. It's a process and a story largely unwritten. This blog will hopefully give voice to that story and weave those things l love into something new and profound. Here, I write about what l make, do and my life. It’s where l get to share the everyday, my thoughts and the things that l create with those that want to share in the journey.

If someone asked me to describe myself I’d use all these words- crafter, stay at home mum of Miss Poppy, thinker, thrift shop adventurer, gardener, cook and seeker of all things artsy, vintage and inspirational with a generous helping of ethical living. But you know there is so much more to me. Some known and others yet to be discovered. I'm in love with my husband Adam, aka Ads and my little two-year-old creative tornado, sharing my life with my dearest friends, desiring a passion-filled life, taking care of the environment and exploring the world and everything in it.

I’ve always lived the creative life but since l have become a mother l have been fascinated with the art, blog and craft world. I use to write and loved opening myself up to the narrative landscape of poetry, it’s largely where l found out who l was. It helped me give voice to the artist within and I’ve missed it. It's a dry and baron landscape when you don't have the time to write and I want that oasis of the written word in my life. Once again I find myself on the road of self-discovery and enjoying the act of imagining, creating and making things. Who knows where it will lead and l trust in the process, whole heartedly.

I want to begin to write again without being encumbered by the constructs of societal expectations. Or my own fears, childhood scripts and work, by being still and taking notice of the simple life instead of rushing through it. It's taken me a while to get to the place where l can see the simple things as precious and not money, a career and being over committed. I've spent much of this week reflecting on what it means to be a mother and I've had to look deep to get to a point where l realise even with my insecurities that I'm a great mother and person and despite the mountains, rough terrain and obstacles I've had to overcome, you know I’m doing ok.

I discovered my snow pea and broad bean seeds coming up in their twine teepees this morning while Poppy and I picked dandelions and flowers in the sunshine and stood amongst tiny beetroot, lettuce and leeks seedlings. We watched them shoot for the sky in the heat of the day. I took pleasure in it. It made me want to make warm gingerbread, write a book, sew and paint with poppy. I managed to paint pictures with Poppy, wash the floors and vacuum so it was a good day.

Amongst nappy changes, playtimes, warm hugs and all the cleaning/crisis management Involved with being a mum, I have discovered a love of fabric, texture, and of stories. Creating something from nothing. Creating sewing patterns and making things with my own two hands on a sewing machine given to me by my mother, resting on a handed down retro 1970’s table from my nana. My home has become a haven for me to explore my generational story, my creative self, think and find immense freedom here.

In some strange dream lapse last night that felt uncannily like something from an episode from Star Trek. l dreamt of meeting Henry Rollins on my way to meet up with a dear old friend Andy for dinner. Ok it was a dream, but Rollins has been someone l have admired for a long time for his strong opinion, intelligence and his talent. During this crazy meet up in a tattoo parlour (comical I know) there was this intense dialogue between Rollins and I. Rollins challenged me to leap into the void. It was one of those life changing moments. Decision time. And despite inner conflict, self-doubt and a lifetime of creativity aching to get out, I will leap into the void.
Today that story begins, it's woven threads bound in faith to become something to embrace and hold for my tribe. This is one place l am not going to attempt to censor myself and simply just be.

So here l am, 35 years old next week, starting a new crafty business PoppyFox which l will share here with you. Doing the odd counseling with clients and sandplay sessions through Inner circles and being a mum bringing up one of the most interesting, joyful little personalities l know. I hope this blog is interesting if not funny and perhaps inspirational in some way to you all. 

x Mummafox
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