The Gypsy Mama

I like to get lost on the internet. Weaving my way from from this site to that. Sometimes not even knowing how I ended up where I do. Tabs open further than the screen can hold. Sites full of different stories, stories from people I know, mostly of people I don’t but feel like I do. Images of people from far off lands or right door.

These days I am still in love with Pinterest and the beautiful inspiration I find there. Before the year ends, I have promised myself a craft weekend and plan to make something I have found there.

Today I found The Gypsy Mama, and I can actually trace my steps there. It started at Naptime Diaries with Jessie’s link to her new site, Sashes to the Merchants. A site that is geared more to the online business community side of selling really beautiful and creative things. From there, I was reminded about her partner at Sashes to the Mechants, Handmade Recess. A beautifully written blog, and she sells gorgeous handbags. See my favorite one here. Once I trust the South African mail system again, I will be buying this. Until then I will just have to swoon from afar. Handmade Recess posted remember, which then lead me to the The Gypsy Mama.

The Gypsy Mama host’s Five Minute Friday. Last week’s post was titled Remember. Five Minute Friday’s challenge you to stop, drop and write for five minutes, no editing allowed. Just be free. Think I’ll try it on Friday. Not sure if I will share it, but I’m gonna give it ago, see how it feels and what I come up with.

Here is what The Gypsy Mama  wrote:

It was strange to be unable to move when they pulled you out of me.
Strange not to have been tired and sweaty from the pushing. Instead I was laid out like a plank – these legs of mine numb to the baby girl crying across the room. But my heart. My heart poured out of my eyes and my arms ached with the empty anticipation of meeting you hand to hand, fingers to flesh.
Hungry eyes waited and feasted on that small flailing fist waving at me from the scale a million miles away.
But when your angry face was wrpped up in that cocoon of warm blankets the journey began. They walked you over to me and my world as I knew it bust apart, to meet you my daughter. My tiny made-in-the-image of me woman child.
Flesh of my flesh and heart of my heart they laid you cheek to cheek with me and despite the epidural I danced.
Every iota of me danced to meet you.
So beautiful and exactly how I felt when I gave birth to Ava, yet would never be able to put it so eloquently. She’s now moved on to the blog list. 
I am so ready for December holiday, it’s not even funny…
My little pumpkin pie this morning, hogging the bed like she does.

Trying to break out the back door.

I love photos of her sleeping in the car.
Babysitting the fam this weekend. 
Let the party planning begin!

Preparing for Christmas

The advent calendar is up and looks great! Love having a husband that is good with his hands. He found a spare piece of wood in our storage room, sanded it down, painted it red and attached the little gold hooks. It turned out perfect. What do you think? 

taken with my iPad, will post a better one soon. 

Sometimes when I am feeling a little down, I head over to Scary Mommy Confessions for a giggle. The other day someone posted some advice about Christmas gifts and what they do with her family. They give:

 Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. That’s what my kiddos get for Christmas. And Santa fills up their stocking. 

I love this. Growing up our family had a few difficult financial years mixed in with the comfortable years. Looking back now, my fondest memories of Christmas are of those years when my parents were going through hard financial times. 

When there wasn’t a lot of extra money, my parents became creative with their gift giving. My favorite memory was having to go on scavenger hunts for our gifts. Santa even sent us out into the snow to go look for clues.  We had loads of laughs as we each searched the house, high and low for clues and gifts. Sometimes the gifts were hid right under our own beds! 

As time went by and things got better, the gifts under the tree multiplied and I (as I won’t speak for my siblings and can probably reassure you that they will all say I am the only spoiled one) became more spoiled, Christmas wasn’t as exciting. I was never satisfied by what I found there. It’s no fault of my parents, they tried to give me everything I wanted. Yet I twisted that around and in turn only wanted more and more. 

I never want the magic of Christmas to fade from Ava because I have spoiled her. So as a new tradition, within our little family, we will now only receive something we want, something we need, something to wear and something to read. Now, if Santa wants to spoil the little angel in her stocking, that’s his prerogative. 

Sunday we plan on decorating the house for Christmas. A bit nervous about the tree as Ava is pulling up on everything now and I would hate for it to fall over on her. Johan will have to take extra precautions on securing it to the wall. So excited to see her little face lit up by the lights. 

I also plan on making a wreath this weekend from our Rosemary bush. I found this idea on Pinterest, of course. Gorgeous and will smell yummy. 

via All About You

My Crafts I’ll Never Do board is getting smaller, as my Pinterest Items Done is gradually filling up! Yay for me. There are three pins so far, but it’s a start!

If I had a million dollars (because everything in SA is so freakishly expensive) or realistically, lived in the US, these are the items Ava would be getting for Christmas from Mommy and Daddy. 

Ava doesn’t know it yet, but she wants this pram (stroller):

via Timber Toys

Or that she needs this rocking giraffe:

via Your Rocking Horse Shop

Or how cute she would look wearing this:

via Nordstrom

Or how much her Mommy will enjoy reading this to her:
via Amazon

Now for me…

Something I want:

via shopbop

Somethings I need:

via Net-A-Porter

via Piperlime

via Sunglass Hut

Something to wear:

via Forever New

Something to read:

Hint, hint Skippy…

22 days until Christmas!!



Well folks, there you have it. Ava has finally discovered her tongue!! 
That little tongue of hers gives me the giggles like you wouldn’t believe. 
Love it!!

On Friday’s post, which you can read here, I created a Bucket List for the weekend. I am quite surprised that we managed to accomplished all but one of the items on said list. Granted, there were only four, but still. If it weren’t for me writing this post last night, I could have probably read a few chapters of The Long Tail, but I’d rather be online clearing my head, then have my nose stuck in a book about economics.

The main item I wanted to tackle this weekend, was to learn how to properly use our new camera. I know it will definitely take longer than a weekend to fully understand the camera and the rules of photography. It would have helped if I had listened more during my photography class senior year of high school. The ISO, f-stop and shutter speed triangle thingy is still just as daunting as it was back then. 

Needless to say, I was messing around with the camera this weekend, that’s why most of the photos are blurry, overexposed and just plain bad. Shame. I did, however, learn about the functions of all the automatic and professional modes. Should be a professional within a month, tops! hehe. Maybe two months….

Our hike was a perfect example of photos gone wrong.

overexposed, but I like it.

Underexposed? I don’t know. Such a shame, it would have been such a nice shot.
not too bad… 

The rest were really bad, but I am learning.

One thing I didn’t mess up was the Seasonal Crunch I made, from the recipe I found in Notes From My Kitchen Table. DELICIOUS! And so simple, really. Made mine with strawberries.  

These pictures aren’t sooo bad…
I need my brother in law, Charl to give me a bit of guidance with the photography! His pics are amazing.

Still obsessing over Pinterest this week. I  haven’t had this much fun on a site since I opened my Facebook account four years ago. Look what I found yesterday:

Johan and I had the idea of putting a tree house in Ava’s room, long before we even came up with the idea of the tree. See Ava’s tree and bird houses here. This photo, is exactly what I had in mind and I want to start building it right away! Thankfully, Johan is the rational one. He says we can start next month… Will keep you posted. 

You can follow me on Pinterest here.

Don’t forget, today is awesome.


Sew Time!

Mom and I have been busy sewing these past two weeks and you would think we had completed a lot more projects than just a dress and a Quiet Book, but with Della Mae and Ava both needing adamant attention, we’ve only gotten so far.

When I first saw Della Mae’s Quiet Book I was so jealous and sad that they didn’t make one for Ava. I now know why! These little books aren’t the easiest things to make. There are little eyes and ears that need to be cut out and sewn on. Then appliqued around each piece. I am actually glad they didn’t make Ava’s book because I appreciate it much more now that I see how much work goes into one of these little guys. Plus I get to spend time with my mom. My favorite part, other than spending time with my mom, was picking out the fabric for each little piece. Luckily my mom has a craft closet bigger than most peoples wardrobes. We followed the directions for the most part, but a lot of it comes from the creativity of my mom. So blessed that she enjoys making crafts. Wish I was a bit more creative but at least I try. Hopefully Ava will learn to sew and garden from her grandmother. This week we will be busy making one for my brother’s baby due in August, little Lucien.

Here is Della Mae’s Book

Ava’s Book

While deciding on the fabric for Ava’s Quiet Book, I came across the most beautiful material in my mom’s scrap collection and decided Ava must have something out of this. It’s a beautiful tie-dye with flowers, perfect for a dress. Unfortunately, I only had pieces of the fabric. I then got an idea, if I sewed the pieces together then I would have enough fabric to cut the pattern. What we have ended up with is a patchwork dress for Ava. I think it’s too cute. Even made her a headband to match. Just wish Widespread Panic toured SA so I could take Ava to rock out in her dress. We will just have to do a little noodling around the house.

The hard workers